The Concert Choir is going through an exciting transition as our beloved seniors walk across the graduation stage and then onto a plane with the rest of the choir as we embark on our journey to Scotland! As we prepared for our departure for Scotland and as we experience all that is around us, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the departure of our incredible seniors.
Each of the 18 Concert Choir students that crossed the stage on Sunday have quite the list of accomplishments and legacies that they are leaving behind as they go. Better yet, they are representing not only the choir, but Maryville College well with their future endeavors.
The following is a look at all that some of our seniors have accomplished in their years at Maryville College and how those accomplishments have influenced for their future.
As a four-year Student Government Association participant, a four-year Judicial Board servant, three-year Admissions Ambassador, and a member of the Concert Choir, Lassies, and Off Kilter, Blaine Coyle’s absence will certainly be noticed and missed as she pursues medical school study in the hopes of becoming a forensic child psychiatrist. She seeks to emulate joy and compassion in all her interactions and has found it her duty to serve the Maryville community through leadership, which is noted through her Chief Justice position, Choir Presidency and Vice Presidency, and theatrical lead roles. Coyle states that she hopes that she has left a mark on the hearts of her peers and sends her love to each that are still struggling through the challenge of MC academics.
Zeb Phillips, from Westel, TN, has had the honor of making it to the final round of auditions with the vocal group, Chanticleer. In the past four years at MC, he has undergone many vocal coachings with members of the King’s Singers and Anonymous 4. He’s had roles in several local operas and musicals, including: Will Parker in Oklahoma!, Charlie Hildebrandt in Street Scene, a Wickersham in Seussical: the Musical, and Gerradino in Gianni Schicci. Phillips has also taken several solo opportunities at MC, one being the piece “But Who May Abide” in Handel’s Messiah. He teaches voice lessons and is a scholarship vocalist for St. James Episcopal Church in Knoxville. One of Phillips’ most prized accomplishments was his recent production of a senior study recital titled The Feminine Illusionist: Breaking Down the Conventions of Gender on Stage. The show involved a selection of pieces that showed that, as long as someone has the ability to sing a role or character, then their gender should not be a factor in casting. Phillips plans to continuing seeking musical opportunities and to make a difference using the power of song throughout the years to come.
Megan Kolb has been leading a busy life, as well. Along with being a part of Off Kilter for three years and the Concert Choir for all four years, Kolb has been a leader for freshman as a Resident Assistant for three years. She has received many honors, including a full-tuition music scholarship and the Dorothy Barbara Bushing Academic Award last year. She is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta and Kappa Delta Pi honor societies. She plans to use her talents, honors, and love for music to become a music teacher; in this case, she begins student teaching in the fall at Maryville High School and Foothills Primary.
As an International Business major with a political science and German language minor, Rachel Long has exceeded greatly in her four years at MC. She spent a semester abroad in Karlsruhe Germany where she continued her studies in German and international business. She was titled the Secretary General for two years at MC’s Model United Nations Conference, where she was later invited to take an all-expenses-paid trip alongside our own Eric Lipka to The Hague, Netherlands to attend a hearing at the International Criminal Court. Because of her time abroad and involvement with the Concert Choir, she had scholarships adding up to $7,500 to go towards her expenses at MC. Long will be officially attending New York University’s School of Professional Studies for graduate school. She will be studying Global Affairs, among only 35 chosen grad students.
Alexandra Stewart is diving straight into her future. She will be attending the Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia this August where she will be pursuing a dual degree of a Masters of Arts in Practical Theology. In December, Stewart will be marrying a fellow MC graduate, Jacob Hutson. Stewart exclaims how excited she is to begin a new journey and joining a new community at Columbia all while loving her first years of marriage.
Newly a graduate in Psychology with a minor in Writing Communications, Megan Sparkes has been a Concert Choir member for all four of her years at MC. She has been working hard this year to finish her thesis titled Exploring the Efficacy of Phoneme-Learning Techniques for Monolingual Children with Deficits. Sparkes will be taking a year off to work on graduate school applications and GRE preparations. Ideally, she would prefer to get into the University of Tennessee’s Speech Pathology program next year.
Linley Dunn has graduated MC with a double major in Psychology and Music. With the rigor that comes with each major curriculum, she also spent a lot of time and passion working on musical compositions. Her composition for piano and cello was performed by colleagues in front of an audience, and she is sure that that moment was her proudest moment. In addition to composition, Dunn also led the MC Women’s Basketball team to the Sweet Sixteen Tournament this season. She plans on taking a year off before graduate school to intern at the children’s hospital in the oncology department.
These seniors are just a handful of the incredible group of students we all will miss greatly. Luckily for the entire choir, we have had one last opportunity to share memories with the graduates. Since May 17th, the Tuesday after graduation, the Concert Choir has been on a remarkable trip to Scotland. This has been the trip we have all been preparing for over the past two semesters, making this experience that much more rewarding for us.
Keep checking back throughout the next week to read more about our adventures, concerts, and memories we are making here in the heartland. If you are interested in seeing all of the fun and excitement the Concert Choir is having over here, follow our hashtag,#singingscots2016, on Instagram and Facebook, like our Facebook page Friends of the Maryville College Concert Choir, and follow the Instagram page @mcconcertchoir.
We wish the very best to every one of our seniors. We look back in appreciation on the experiences shared with them as we look forward in inspiration to one day singing on stage with them again. Remember you are never alone, seniors, and may the Lord always bless you and keep you.