Radcliffe Choral Society News

October 2009
In This Issue
RCS Fall in Pictures
From the President
From the Conductor
The Marvin Celebration!
2010 Spring Tour
From the Friends of RCS
Southern Tour Recap
Read alumnae stories in this issue, and submit your own!
RCS in Pictures:

RCS Sanders 09/08

RCSers joined with other Holdenites to sing at the 2009 Commecement in June.

RCS Sanders 09/08

'Cliffe Notes, our a cappella subset, sings in Harvard Yard.

RCS newies and oldies put beads on their "sisters" at retreat.

RCS Sanders 09/08

RCSers serenade a dog as part of the scavenger hunt during retreat.

Introductions in the basement of the Baptist Church in Hingham, MA.

Old Ship Church before RCS and Glee Club sang in its Sunday morning service. Jim got a standing ovation.

Visit us on the web for concert and ticket information, music samples, and more!
RCS Sanders 09/08 From the President
Dear Alumnae,
           I am thrilled to have the opportunity to write to you all at the start of this new school year as the President of the Radcliffe Choral Society for the 2009-2010 academic year.  We have recently finished our auditions process, and have welcomed twenty-three new members to the RCS community.  We began our year by a fun-filled retreat with the Glee Club to Hingham, MA, where we had our first performance of the year.  It was a great success!  We are currently preparing for our fall concert with the Collegium Musicum and our annual Christmas concert with the Glee Club.

           We are also looking forward to the rest of the coming year, including our spring tour to New York, Philadelphia and WashingtonD.C.  We are hoping to use this spring tour as an opportunity to reconnect with you- our wonderful alumnae-and to strengthen our relationships with those of you that live in the areas to which we are traveling.  On a bittersweet note, at the end of the year we will say goodbye to our beloved director, Dr. Jameson Marvin. We are excited to join with HGC and HRCM at the end of the year to perform a new, commissioned work and to celebrate with our alums, and with Jim, as we bid farewell to Jim.  We hope you will join us as we celebrate Jim's 32 year tenure as the conductor of the Holden Choirs in a fun-filled weekend, April 30 to May 2nd.

           I am eager to see what this coming year will hold for RCS, and I hope that you all will join me in helping to make this year a great one for the choir.  I cannot wait to share all the music and memories of the coming year with you.
Emily Pierce '10
President, Radcliffe Choral Society
From the Conductor
Kevin Leong
I last wrote to you in the winter of 2006 after conducting RCS for a full year.  It's been too long!  I have been waiting eagerly to conduct RCS again since then, and now I finally have my chance!
Ninety-six women auditioned for the Holden Choruses this September, and although this is not a particularly large number, the quality of the singers was quite high.  We welcomed twenty-three new women into RCS, and they are a spirited and talented bunch.  At our annual retreat in Hingham, we very much enjoyed getting to know them.  We also rehearsed a lot and sang two Sunday services, the first at the First Baptist Church (where we were once again generously hosted by Rev. Gary Ludwig) and the second with the Harvard Glee Club at the Old Ship Church.  I chose two anthems for us - Ecce maria genuit by Michael Praetorius and Tenebrae factae sunt by Tomás Luis de Victoria - and RCS sang them beautifully.  These two pieces will also open our program at a joint concert with the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum on Halloween night.  We will also be performing music of Schumann, Kodály, Barber, and Copland.
Other projects that RCS and I will be working on this year include the annual Holiday Concert in December and a March concert - both collaborations with the Glee Club - and a Spring Break tour of the Eastern Seaboard to Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia (my hometown!); and New York City.  I am thrilled to be working with RCS again and look forward to all the music and fun that lie ahead of us!  We hope to see you at our concerts and will enjoy reconnecting with many RCS alums on the tour!  Until then...
Best wishes,
Kevin Leong
Join us in Celebration of Jim Marvin!

Jim Please join undergraduates from all Holden Choruses and alumni from before the Jim Marvin years and after for a pan-Holden celebration weekend April 30th through May 2nd! The occasion for the reunion, planned to be the largest ever for the alumni of all three singing groups, is the final year of Jameson Marvin's work as Director of Choral Activities at Harvard. After 32 years, Jim is graduating from Harvard and moving on to his own choral projects.

On Friday, April 30th, enjoy Harvard Yard in the Springtime. Register for the reunion in Holden Chapel in the afternoon and attend a concert in Sanders Theatre featuring the Radcliffe Choral Society, Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, and Harvard Glee Club in full voice. Finish off the evening with a dessert reception in Harvard's illustrious Memorial Hall. Saturday morning, explore Harvard Square or participate in one of several lectures and discussions on the musical foundation of choral singing from a selection of choral experts. Then it's time to stretch your vocal chords! The afternoon is reserved for individual group alumni sings with notable guest conductors and a grand pan-Holden alumni group practice, led by Jameson Marvin.

On Saturday night, we've reserved the main ballroom at the Cambridge Marriott in Kendall Square for a faculty-student-alumni Holden banquet in Jim's honor. It's the only place in all of Cambridge big enough to seat all the people we expect to attend (over 400). We'll have toasts, cake, dinner and song...not to mention old friends, memories, and babysitters for your kids. Sunday morning, we'll meet up for our own individual RCS reunion brunch to enjoy conversation and impromptu singing with some of the people we spent the most time with during our college years.

Bring the whole family and enjoy the festivities. The Marriott has set aside a special group rate (call (617) 494-6600 and mention the Holden Choruses) and the sooner you reserve your room, the better. If you're not sure whether we have your email address, please write to Isabel Walcott ([email protected]) so she can make sure we get you all the registration information. You'll also want to join our facebook event (search for Marvin Ting Bong Goo Weekend). We'll see you there!

Image: Jim showing his sillier side on a hike during our Appalachian Tour.
2010 Spring Tour to the Northeast!

This spring, RCS will be touring the Northeast, performing in Washington, DC, Philadelphia and New York City. Our tentative concert schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday, March 13: Concert at Universalist National Memorial Church, Washington, DC
  • Monday, March 15: Concert at Walt Whitman High School, Washington, DC
  • Wednesday, March 17: Concert at The Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia
  • Thursday, March 18: Concert at St. Paul's Chapel of Trinity Church, New York City
  • Friday or Saturday, March 19 or 20: Final concert in New York, place TBD.
Please keep checking our tour website for the final concert schedule and ways you can help.

If you are interested in helping us with housing, publicity, finance or any other aspect of our tour, please contact our Tour Manager, Joan Xu, at [email protected]  Any contributions would be greatly appreciated!
A Message from the Friends of RCS...

 The Friends of the Radcliffe Choral Society (FRCS) recently held its autumn meeting, which included several new members. We are looking forward to a busy and exciting year! Below is some information about our current activities:

 We will be reserving alumnae sections at future RCS concerts so that we can sit together and cheer on current members. At the upcoming concert on October 31, look for our signs in the mezzanine, or ask an usher to point you in our direction.

  • In support of the RCS spring tour, we will be organizing post-concert get-togethers for alumnae in DC, Philadelphia, and New York City. More details to come. Let us know if you are interested in helping to arrange these events.
  • FRCS is always seeking to expand our membership in order to best support RCS and serve our many alumnae. We have now incorporated phone conferencing into all of our meetings, so that alumnae who are far from Cambridge or lack transportation can participate. We will send out notice when our winter and spring meetings have been scheduled. If you cannot take part in meetings but would still like to be involved in FRCS at any level, please get in touch with us.
  • We want to hear from you! Send us your memories of RCS or the latest news about what you are doing. Also, please let us know if your phone number or mailing address has changed so that we can keep in touch with you. Thank you for your continued support of RCS!

To get in touch with FRCS about any of the above activities, contact Marianne Cook, FRCS Vice President for Alumnae Affairs, at [email protected].

2009 Appalachian Spring Tour: Thanks!

Last March, RCS traveled to Atlanta, Knoxville, Nashville and Chattanooga on tour. We had a wonderful time singing and meeting other choirs. The Spelman Glee Club that we sang with will even be joining us at our Junior Parents' Weekend concert! We couldn't have gone without your financial and other support, so thank you!

RCS Sanders 09/08RCS Sanders 09/08RCS Sanders 09/08RCS Sanders 09/08RCS Sanders 09/08

Images, from top left: Downtime in Nashville, Nashville skyline in the background, exploring Knoxville, hiking in a national park, on the Spelman campus, RCS at end-of-tour banquet.
AlumnaeVoices Alumnae Voices, Still Raised in Song...

I sang in RCS from my freshman year through my second year of law school (and then spent a year in Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus to finish out my time at Harvard singing somewhere). Then I started practicing law and had no time for a choir. After 15 years of no singing (unless you count the national anthem at sporting events and along with the radio in the car), I joined the Kansas City Women's Chorus. It felt like coming home to be rehearsing and singing in a women's choir again.

We are an 80+ voice group. We do two sets of concerts each year, one in December and one in the spring. Our music mix ranges from Broadway to jazz to classical to whimsical, and everything in between. Our holiday concert this year, "Bells, Bells, Bells," features a handbell choir and seasonal songs. For next spring, we will be "Belles of Broadway" as we tour the show-side of our repertoire.

I serve on the board and as an officer, and when I get tired of the endless fund-raising and administrative issues, all I have to do is go to a rehearsal and sing. The cameraderie is as good as it was in college days even though we have a much more diverse group than RCS ever did.

-M. Courtney Koger, '88, JD '91

Edna conducting her choir

Edna Huelsenbeck conducting her choir in Seattle.

RCS was a life-changing experience for me. I came to Harvard as an instrumentalist and science concentrator, with my only previous choral experience being the all-camp choir at music camp.. In the spring of my freshman year, one of my Hollis neighbors recruited me for RCS (thanks, Natalie!), and since I was looking for a new extra-curricular activity, I thought I'd give it a try.

Two decades later, I have a master's degree in music, and have founded and directed two women's choruses (Concentus in Rochester, NY, and Pacific Women's Chorus in San Diego). I am now working in the Bay Area as assistant conductor (and second alto) for both Voci Women's Vocal Ensemble and Sacred & Profane (an a cappella SATB chamber chorus).

It's not by accident that I keep ending up in women's choruses: the collaborative atmosphere, the camaraderie, and the opportunity to sing low notes keep bringing me back. Singing has helped keep me sane through two babies and six different cities. I'll admit that the holiday season is a little crazy around here (with two kids added to the mix, our family calendar currently shows fifteen performances during the first three weeks of December), but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Edna (Yeh) Huelsenbeck '88

Please write to us with your own RCS stories! We would love to hear and share them.

2009-2010 Concert Schedule:
A Cappella Masterpieces
The Radcliffe Choral Society and the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum
Kevin Leong & Jameson Marvin, conductors
Saturday, October 31, 8:00 PM | Tickets: $20

Christmas in Sanders
Radcliffe Choral Society & Harvard Glee Club
Kevin Leong & Jameson Marvin, conductors
Saturday, December 5, 8:00 PM | Tickets: $20

Junior Parents Weekend Concert

Radcliffe Choral Society & Harvard Glee Club
Kevin Leong & Jameson Marvin, conductors
Saturday, March 6, 8:00 PM | Tickets: $20

Arts First: A Cappella Repertoire & Festive Concerti by Heinrich Schütz
with the Harvard Glee Club and Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum
featuring the premiere of Robert Kyr's composition in honor of Jameson Marvin's 32 years as Director of Choral Activities at Harvard University
Jameson Marvin, conductor
Friday, April 30, 8:00 PM | Tickets: $28, $24, $18

All concerts are at Sanders Theatre unless otherwise noted. Tickets are available through the Harvard Box Office.
Write to Us!
Write to us with stories, questions, updated contact information...
RCS Historian: Katie Banks
[email protected]
Radcliffe Choral Society
Holden Chapel, Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138