Chamber Singers bond at Alpine Meadows


(Re)treated: Choral students enjoy their free time on a jungle gym at Alpine Meadows Retreat Center. Printed with permission of Amaya Washington

Sophia Musante

Students in Chamber Singers rehearsed choral repertoire, improved vocal technique and engaged in recreational activities on their annual choral trip at Alpine Meadows Retreat Center from Sept. 13 to 14, Upper School Choral Director Zanaida Robles said.

Members of the Choir discuss Team Bonding

Singer Amanda Korris ’22 said she felt the retreat helped unite the individual members of Chamber Singers as a more cohesive unit.

“The retreat really helped us bond as a choir and work on our music,” Korris said. “We got to stay up really late to talk, and it was super enjoyable.”

Robles said her favorite activity was the morning hike, as she loved seeing the students create music together in nature. She also remembers the team’s arrival to the retreat fondly, she said.

“That moment when we first set foot on the grounds, I loved the way the students all ran to the playground and started swinging on swings and climbing on play structures,” Robles said. “Play is an important part of bonding, and we got to play a lot.”

The intent for the retreat was to establish a strong, hardworking community within the choir, Robles said.

Goals for a good choir

“Choir retreats are important for building a positive group dynamic and cultivating focus,” Robles said. “Working in a [place] distant and remote, surrounded by beauty is the perfect environment for setting a firm foundation of solid work ethic and musical excellence that we will carry through the entire year.”

Korris said that she felt the retreat was successful in achieving these goals for building foundations.

“The choir retreat really helped us come together as a group and become more than a combination of individual voices,” Korris said. “By the end, we had been placed in the most cohesive arrangement and all felt way more confident about our music.”

A Junior’s Perspective

Similarly, singer Maddie Boudov ’21 said the retreat allowed her to get to know the individuals within her section, as well as those new to the ensemble. She said the retreat helped the entire choir improve as a whole.

“After the retreat, I felt so much closer to my section and we really bonded,” Boudov said. “Being close and comfortable with the rest of the choir has also helped our sound and made us a better choir.”