Radcliffe Choral Society Foundation
E-Newsletter Spring 2012

In This Newsletter:  


Support RCS International Tour  New York City Tour 'Cliffe Notes Reunion    

 Alumnae Reunion Sing RCSF Senior Common Room International Summer Tour     

History Tea  Concert Report    RCS Memory from Vicki Smith '71 Facebook Reminder 



toc1Support RCS International Summer Tour! 
A message from RCSF President, Jenny Wolahan '07 

Without a doubt, one of the most important things we do as an alumnae foundation is provide support to make RCS's vision possible. This summer, the students are embarking on an 18-day tour of Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Croatia. The students are doing a superb job of organizing this tour and are currently working to close the $8K gap between tour costs and current fundraising totals. Please consider making a gift to RCSF today to help RCS achieve its vision of music-making, cultural enrichment, and ambassadorship. We thank you very much for your support!

Make a Donation 

New York City Tour March 30 and 31

Please join the Radcliffe Choral Society as they warm up for their Summer Tour with a weekend trip to New York City on March 30 and 31. They will be performing in two concerts (see below), the second of which will include a reception for RCS alumnae. We hope to see you there! Please contact Jaime Leifer '01 at [email protected] with any questions.

Friday, March 30, 7:30pm
Harvard Club of New York

35 West 44th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Open to Harvard/Radcliffe alums and families only; not ticketed
* Please note: the Harvard Club has a strict dress code
(business casual attire, no jeans or sneakers).

Saturday, March 31, 8pm
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

302 West 91st Street (at West End Avenue)
Open to the public; tickets available here and at the door
* Following this concert, there will be a wine-and-cheese reception
for RCS alumnae and current singers.   

toc4'Cliffe Notes Reunion

All RCS and 'Cliffe Notes alumnae are enthusiastically invited to the 'Cliffe Notes 20th Reunion Weekend taking place April 6-8. We hope you'll join us for a celebration of 20 years of 'Cliffe Notes, honoring the history and community of this very special subset. Festivities will include: 


Friday, April 6 


8pm, Grafton Street: Reconnect with old friends and make new ones at a meet-and-greet happy hour.     


Saturday, April 7     


1pm, Holden Chapel: Join 'Cliffe Notes alumnae from the past 20 years at a reunion luncheon honoring the history of this special group of women (lunch and refreshments provided).


3pm, Holden Chapel: Immediately following the luncheon, dust off that a cappella bob and sing some classic 'CN favorites, including the largest Java Jive rendition in 'CN history!


8pm, SOCH 104: Attend a special a cappella jam by the current 'Cliffe Notes, Glee Club Lite, and Collegium Underground in honor of 'CN's 20 year reunion. Tickets will be available at the Harvard Box Office and at the door.  

Sunday, April 8   


10am, Holden Chapel: Say one last goodbye to your 'CN sisters at a farewell coffee and tea (because we all love coffee and tea!).
This reunion weekend has been jointly organized by 'Cliffe Notes alumnae and the current 'Cliffe Notes members, and promises to be a fantastic event. For more information, questions, or comments, please contact Colleen Lenahan '10 at [email protected]. We hope to see you there!

     toc5Alumnae Reunion Sing

Please join us during reunion week in May for the second annual Reunion Sing, sponsored by the Radcliffe Choral Society Foundation. This was a popular event last year, with about 50 alumnae and current members joining together in song! This year, we will once again be singing favorite RCS repertoire from across the decades, led by Director of Choral Activities, Andrew Clark. Whether you graduated in the 1930s, the 2010s, or anywhere in between, we'd love to hear your voice!  Please RSVP to Marianne Cook (contact info below) with your full name, class year, and voice part. Note that space for non-singers will be limited, so please let us know if you have family members who would like to attend.

Who: All RCS Alumnae (not just class reunion years)
When: Wednesday, May 23, 4:30 - 6:30 PM
Where: Holden Chapel in Harvard Yard
RSVP: Marianne Cook at [email protected] or 508-333-8986

toc6Make Your Voice Heard: Join the RCSF Senior Common Room

As RCSF grows, we are looking for broader alumnae participation in shaping our projects and priorities. To investigate alumnae interests and opinions, we will be holding focus group conference calls from time to time, during which Board and Senior Common Room members are invited to discuss a specific topic of current interest.  Potential topics include shaping an alumnae-student mentorship program, expanding RCS media presence, improving community outreach efforts, and setting goals and priorities for endowment growth and use.

If you would like to participate in these discussions, we invite you to join the Senior Common Room, which is our network of RCS alumnae who are interested in providing the Radcliffe Choral Society or the Foundation with expert advice, wise counsel, and volunteer support.  To join, you need only express your enthusiasm and willingness to be available to respond to questions or provide expertise or access to information and resources that will support the mission of RCS.  
 The RCS Foundation will provide you with a "virtual" common room, so that you can connect easily with your sisters in song.  To join, email Deepa Dhume at [email protected].

summertour2RCS International Summer Tour 2012

We are very excited and proud that tour planning is coming closer to reality. RCS will be headed to the cities of Istanbul, Harmanli, Gabrovo, Sofia, Belgrade, and Zagreb, with seven concerts, a festival, and a competition ending the tour in mid-June. The group will perform with women's and mixed choirs, from university to professional levels. We are also excited about the many cultural exchange opportunities, as well as the sightseeing and outreach plans in store.

RCS is still reaching out to not-for-profit organizations in Istanbul, Belgrade, and Zagreb for musical and community service outreach opportunities. If you have any suggestions, or friends/family who might be able to offer housing for RCS members, please contact Olivia Pei at [email protected].

toc8History Tea

This year's RCS History Tea, held on February 11, was a very joyous and convivial gathering, as RCS alumnae from the 1950s to very recent grads joined with RCS current singers in sharing stories and songs from their respective eras. The current RCS historians, Cory Kind '12 and Rachel Johnston '14, laid out mementos and artifacts of RCS activities through the years,  including scrapbooks, tour t-shirts, and some other interesting RCS clothing items.      
Cory and Rachel then provided a capsule history of RCS from its earliest days, and alumnae joined in to share their favorite memories. We heard several stories about singing with the Boston Symphony.  Other alums described singing in Bach's church in Leipzig in the mid 1980s. We also heard about an interesting karaoke session on tour with Jim Marvin!

The event ended with a rousing rendition of the Radcliffe songs. The 2012 History Tea was a really great afternoon, much enjoyed by all. Many thanks to Cathy Hughes, '66, for helping to organize this event. We encourage everyone to keep alert next winter for notices for the 2013 History Tea!

Group Photo from this year's History Tea

RCS Concert Report: Mozart's

As part of activities for Junior Parents Weekend, RCS joined the Glee Club and Collegium Musicum on March 2 in a performance of Mozart's Requiem, conducted by Andrew Clark. The performance was an official event of Harvard's 375th anniversary celebration and featured Harvard music professor Robert Levin's completion of the Requiem in the year of his retirement. The performance was a high point of the season for RCS, and the sold-out performance earned a well-deserved standing ovation. The Radcliffe Choral Society Foundation hosted a dinner before the concert for alumnae.

toc11RCS Memory from Vicki Smith '71

I have a flood of memories from my RCS days, but one of the most vivid was from sophomore year, when I was suddenly thrust into the role of manager because the previous manager abruptly took a leave of absence spring semester. My first task was to take 96 singers (HGS and RCS) to New York City to sing the Verdi Requiem with the New York Philharmonic. The HGC men were to be housed at the Harvard Club of NYC, but I had to find housing for all of RCS with alumnae and friends all over NYC, and I had one month to do it in. Well, I did it, but that is not the main part of my story. When the buses pulled up to the Harvard Club on 45th Street in Manhattan to let off all the guys, I bounced off the bus, all 5'1" of me, and waltzed up the front steps of the Harvard Club and in the front door. Well, that was not the way you did things in 1969. The HCNYC still had a "Ladies Entrance" in those days, and I found myself firmly and barely-politely guided, with a large hand just brushing my back, through a heavy velvet curtain, into the "Ladies Entrance," with the quiet but firm admonition that henceforth this was the entrance I was to use.  I was LIVID, but I had 96 singers to take care of, and a rehearsal to get them to, and a tight schedule to keep. So I bit my tongue, and handled the business of checking in the "boys" from the side room, and left the club as soon as I could get out the door. I then told my co-manager from the HCG, who had been taking his ease in the bus, that I would not enter that club again the rest of the tour and he could handle everything with that club from then on. Up to that moment, he had happily been letting me handle the hands-on tour details. I handed the folio over to him and said, "Carry your weight, my friend. Do your job. I will never enter that door again until the rules change." And I didn't. Years later, when I lived in the NYC area, I was an active member of the HCNYC, which had very much changed by then, and had women totally involved in every level of the club. By the way, the NY Philharmonic concert was absolutely fantastic.

Vicki Smith, '71

Editor's Note: Things certainly have changed. See above for information on RCS's upcoming concert (3/30) at the Harvard Club of New York!

Vicky and Natalie

Vicki Smith '71 and RCS president Natalie Panno '12 at the History Tea.

toc12Facebook Reminder

A reminder that RCSF now has a Facebook group, where you can get news and updates from RCSF and reconnect with fellow alumnae! If you want to join the group, click here and then click on "Ask to Join Group" in the upper right-hand corner of the page. One of our administrators will add you as soon as possible!