We didn’t start the choir

Jeni Roether, director of the Illinois Valley Community College Choral Program, is more than qualified for her position.

She began singing in second grade for the Illinois Valley Youth Choir, and she has been involved in choir at every level since then, including junior high, high school, undergraduate college and graduate college.

Roether currently sings in a professional choir. Altogether, Roether has been singing in choirs for roughly 25 years and has been conducting choirs for 13 years.

Through all her experience, she has acquired skills that apply to not only music, but to life as well.

Contrary to popular belief, one does not need to know how to read music in order to reap the benefits of choir.

“You can do a lot of singing without knowing which note is A and which one is C,” Roether said when asked about whether or not experience was necessary in the class.

Although many arts programs are at risk in Illinois due to the budget crisis, Roether is confident that there is no threat tothe IVCC choir program.

She would like to see the choir program rise to new heights in terms of enrollment.

Roether also wishes to employ an accompanist to aid in rehearsals, which would not only benefit her, but the choral members as well.

What can a student gain from being a part of choir?

IVCC offers a broad range of music courses, such as Music Appreciation and Music Theory. By joining choir, Roether believes that it can only help increase one’s knowledge and performance in the aforementioned courses.

“Singing is a very natural and healthy way of releasing emotion … Studies show that singing in a choir will increase your happiness. You also gain confidence by learning and mastering new skills and concepts, as well as meeting people that share your interests,” Roether said.

If a student is interested in music from different time periods and cultures and would like to learn more, choir meets in two sections.

The first section meets on Monday evenings from 6-8 pm. The other section meets on Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30 -1:45 pm.

Both sections meet in room D-223 and do not have to be taken for credit.

When asked if there was one thing she could say to students about the choir, Roether expressed words of encouragement.

“Try it out! Most people regret the things they don’t do, not the things they get involved in,” Roether said.