Last night one of the organizations I am a part of, Vanderbilt University Concert Choir, had our annual spring banquet. For our banquet we drive to Joelton, TN, which is about 35 minutes away from campus, to Shadowbrook retreat center. Shadowbrook is a beautiful place with a small man-made lake and a dining area that makes you feel like you are right at home.
We arrived at Shadowbrook around 5 pm, and we spent around 45 minutes taking pictures to document all of us being dressed up fancy. We took pictures of the full group as well as smaller sub-sets of the group such as our men’s and women’s a cappella groups and the outgoing and incoming officers.
After we had taken what seemed like a million pictures, we went upstairs to have dinner. After a wonderful dinner we had several presentations that reminded us what a great year we have had together as an organization. The Social Chairs read out the “sharps and flats” (highs and lows) of the year that we had submitted and our Publicity Chairs read some memorable quotes from the year.
The most emotional part of the evening, however, came when each of the seniors gave their “last will and testament.” This is when each senior is given an opportunity to talk about their experience in choir and what choir has meant to them. Some of the seniors also pass down specific objects to the underclassmen and thank specific people who have made their time in choir meaningful. All of the speeches were beautiful, and it was so cool to see how even though each person has had a unique experience, everyone’s lives have been so impacted by VUCC. Once all the seniors have given their speeches, we all stand in a circle and sing the Alma Mater together. This is the part that always makes me tear up, because it is so beautiful and powerful. Everyone then hugs the seniors and says their goodbyes.
Banquet was, as always, a beautiful, emotional, and meaningful experience. It made me realize just how lucky I am to have found a group of people here at Vanderbilt who I love, and just how much an organization can impact your life.