The chapel is packed with Gettysburg College singers, some current, others from years past for our Choral Reunion. I stand between a member of the Class of ’52 and a friend who graduated a year prior to me. The space is humming with energy as we watch Prof. Rob Natter cue the prep-breath to begin singing our Alma Mater. We sing.
And whatever else I may do,
I’ll love, I’ll defend, and I’ll honor
The glorious orange and blue.
These words, sung with over 100 fellow Gettysburgians of all ages who have come to call this place home, have never meant more—or felt truer.
My name is Elizabeth Buscher ’19, and I am a soprano senior music education major at Gettysburg College. What I love most about our Sunderman Conservatory of Music is that there are so many opportunities available to perform, no matter your class year.
Over the course of the past four years, I have performed in a number of ensembles, including College Choir, Camerata, Opera Workshop, musical theatre productions, the Bullets Marching Band, Gamelan, and an Afro-Latin Percussion ensemble. I was also fortunate enough to participate in two summer vocal programs in Italy, where I studied the Italian language and opera firsthand.
The voice professors here at Gettysburg College are kind, passionate, and extremely accommodating of all of your goals and interests, whether they’re in opera, jazz, or musical theatre, just to name a few. They challenge you to grow in your craft, to overcome obstacles, and ultimately to realize your untapped potential.
One of my favorite parts of the week has been my voice lessons with Prof. Susan Hochmiller. We work diligently on improving my vocal technique and musical expression, yet still find time to talk about new music recommendations, ideas and goals for the future, and my interest in early music. My professors within the Conservatory encourage me every day to be a better musician, teacher, critical thinker, researcher, and most importantly, a better person.
This fall, I will begin my graduate coursework at UNC-Greensboro for a Master’s in Vocal Performance. Over the next two years, I will be intensively studying and performing a variety of repertoire, and participating in multiple choirs and operas. I am most enthusiastic about UNC’s annual outreach to elementary schools, where we’ll put on opera for 5th graders across the county, since it nicely bridges my love for both opera and teaching.
While I’m sad to leave Gettysburg College, as I have grown so much as a musician and as a person, I am also extremely grateful to the Sunderman Conservatory every day for who they’ve helped me to become. I am very much looking forward to this next step in my future, and using all that I’ve learned to bring pride to the glorious orange and blue!
By Elizabeth Buscher ’19