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We All Love Mallorie

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S: A celebration of Mallorie Chernin

FC: We All Love Mallorie!

1: A Celebration of Mallorie Chernin and the Amherst College Choral Society: 25 Great Years! | We All Love Mallorie! | Presented at the Amherst College Choral Society Homecoming Weekend Concert Buckley Recital Hall, Amherst College October 22, 2011

5: The year I was the assistant, Mallorie had a pink message pad page pinned to her bulletin board. One day in August there was a message for me on the pad: "Please tell Jonathan I can't meet with him today because I just gave birth." That's how far back we go and I think that encapsulates Mal's sense of humor. She also said once that the Glee Club guys expressed some reservations about having a woman conductor. She said to them, "Are you worried that you won't feel comfortable burping and farting in rehearsal in front of a woman?" They said, "uh, yeah, sort of" to which Mal replied, "I like to burp and fart, too!" Dear Mallorie, who would've ever thunk? 25 years! I am proud to say that I knew you from the start. Mazal Tov! All my love, Jonathan Hirsh '86 | I started Amherst College having no idea I could sing. I only joined the Choir and the Chorus to be social and to make new friends. I spent my first year wondering what the heck I was doing and frantically trying to keep up with singers who had many more years of experience. Then, Mallorie came on the scene. She was so warm and funny and caring and wonderful that I began to love going to Choir! I remember she gave me a "spoken" valley girl solo in some crazy song which kept cracking her up whenever I would do it. She was one of the first people to instill in me a real love of choral music and it's because of her that I never stopped! After college and grad school, I joined the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Boston and have never stopped singing since then. Thanks Mallorie! Anna S. Choi '86 I loved singing with Mallorie and still associate Poulenc directly with her. I give Mallorie considerable credit for helping to solidify my lifelong love of choral singing. I have sung in choruses everywhere I've lived since leaving Amherst – New York, San Francisco, Berkeley – and consider it one of the great non-negotiable items in my complex family life. As I reflect back on my choral experiences at Amherst, I see Mallorie as a smiling, positive yet focused leader. It was always a pleasure to sing under her direction. I consider the broad range of repertory she had us sing – from madrigals and Baroque, to Verdi and Poulenc, and even the works of our own contemporaries (do you remember Tanya French's thesis composition?) – to be the perfect embodiment of Amherst's doctrine of liberal studies. I also remember Mallorie's hair and her pale, small, adamant hands. Best regards, Polly Winograd Ikonen '87

6: I remember with a lot of pleasure Mallorie's gentle manner with even the rowdy glee club, and still kick myself for not joining the choir where I would have learned even more. I remember like it was yesterday trying out as a freshman who had no idea that he could sing, and feeling suddenly comfortable to do so with her gentle presence behind the piano. I'm doing more music now than I ever have previously, and she and my Amherst singing experience have something to do with that. Mallorie, I wish you well! Damon Lehrer '89 Singing in both the Glee Club and Concert Choir was absolutely the highlight of my college days, and Mallorie was a huge part of that, of course. Her cheerful attitude made coming to rehearsals fun and her professionalism and dedication were appreciated by all of us. She was also a great travelling companion for our 1989 Spain trip with the Choir. Congratulation, Mallorie, on serving the college so well, and I look forward to hearing from the Choral Society and seeing you at the next reunion! Ed Ducayet '89 Congratulations on a quarter century, Mallorie! You taught me most of what I know about singing in just a few semesters of glee club, circa 1988-89. But more importantly, you helped to educate me, and my all male fellow singers, about gender equality. To acknowledge that someone has done something gutsy, rather than the more typical male-anatomy-oriented word, you gave us: "Ovarian!" I still use it, and credit you every time. My 10-year-old daughter loves it too. Matthew Levett '90 | Mallorie is the perfect combination of disciplined and warm, industrious and funny. I sang for three wonderful years with women's chorus and still remember the passion with which she urged us to attend to pitch, volume, and meter. I remember, as well, the way she got us to FEEL the music. One song – perhaps by Aaron Copland? – a piece ABOUT music – I remember her taking us through the words, reminding us all the while how UPLIFTING and LIFEGIVING music is. Just like Mallorie herself: uplifting and lifegiving. Warmest and best to you, Susan Banki '91

8: Dearest Mallorie, Singing under your inspired direction for four wonderful years was the highlight of my Amherst experience. I have so many vivid mental snapshots of Monday night rehearsals when you shook us out of post-weekend apathy into music; performances in Buckley when your radiant face at the end of a cutoff convinced us that we had just made the most beautiful music you had ever heard; spontaneous concerts in cathedrals in Spain just because we loved to sing. As you coaxed us through Brahms, Poulenc, Britten, even Harbison, you gave us a lasting musical education that has stayed with me for decades. The Joy in you is something you generously shared with all of us, and I am deeply grateful. Jenny Sue (Smith) Lanni ‘91

9: Dearest Mallorie – The most eloquent writer in the world could never capture in words all that you have meant to me. You began at Amherst when I did, in 1984, and gave me the gift of singing in the Choir (and later the Chorus, too) with you. You exposed me to the clashing tones of Harbison and the sweet sounds of Thompson (who doesn't love the "Alleluia"?). You taught us about being precise (I still know where each "t" and each "s" should land), encouraged the school to stretch a bit from its all-male history (finding new college songs like Lisa's moving "Three Gifts"), and gave me a friend with whom to share the incredible beauty and emotions of music. I remember proudly my audition, matching notes as your call-and-answer combinations got longer and crazier – and George Mathew looking on in wonder at our "game." I still feel at home in the rehearsal room or on stage because I feel so deeply connected to the techniques and emotions of our singing and your leadership. I am proud of the incredible music that we produced together. I am thrilled that I could return to share the fun of your first international tour (Spain '89). I am thankful that I could come to you for ANYTHING and that you have always been my supporter and cheerleader, director and friend. You made Amherst a wonderful experience for me and have continued to inspire me, musically and personally, ever since. Thank you!!!!! With much love and gratitude, "Carol-of-Spring" Didget Pomfret '88

10: Oh, Mal! Congratulations on 25 years of creating music – music that is still endlessly vibrating out in the universe, crescendoing and full, tritones and overtones, Monteverdi and Mascagni and Barber and Harbison. Every phrase arcing out of Buckley Hall, sending beauty into the void. Every closing "ck" in perfect unison, clicking its way to Mars. If there were a way to trace the sounds of the world, imagine what your little corner on College Street would look like: a fireworks launch pad. And not only the music, constantly spinning out from your hands to the world - but the students! There is no way to measure the unimaginable beauty and treasure of the many, many students whose lives you have affected for the better. Think of every one of THOSE complicated compositions, carrying joy-in-music into the world! What fireworks you are continuing to light! Terras irradient indeed. You are truly a gift of Amherst. With all love, Lisa (Smith) Van der Linden '89

11: I can't believe Mallorie has been at Amherst for 25 years! I have such fond memories of being in the Choral Society. As years go by, I find that my time in Chorus was as much a part of my education as my college classes – the sense of teamwork, rigorous practice, not to mention diction! To this day, I am convinced that my clear diction – which has served to get me the occasional voice-over job for technical videos – is the result of Mallorie's teaching. The pictures may have faded a bit, but my fond memories certainly have not! Elizabeth (Anne Gottlieb) Pavel '90

12: Mallory, congratulations on 25 years!! I wanted to let you know how much the Glee Club and your smiling face directing us has meant to me. There are so many fond memories. Some highlights: I remember walking on a snowy evening to a rehearsal for the concert of Robert Frost's poetry and thinking, "THIS is why I came to Amherst!" I have told that story over and over and shared it with the college counselor at my high school last month. We sang in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia when they existed. I was in a cab in Atlanta and discovered the driver was from Africa, so I sang "Kro Hin Kro" to him. He loved it. So did I. I met a man from Russia in Chicago. I sang "Kalinka" and brought tears to his eyes. I was in a play in L.A. based on a Civil Rights event and led the cast in singing African American spirituals. I now sing in my church choir, have cantored in front of hundreds of people and was the music director for a retreat. I invited the choir to sing at my wedding two years ago, and it was beautiful. You taught me how to use my voice with confidence and have given me some wonderful memories and experiences that continue to grow. It's because of faculty like you that I continue to sing the praises of Amherst. And continue to sing!! Thank you and congratulations! David Patrick '90 | I had forgotten that Mallorie was almost as new to Amherst as I was when I arrived – she commanded the practice room as if she'd built it! I was in the Glee Club from 1987-1991 and, while I don’t have a particular memory to share (so many, from Rocket Fuel nights to our tour of Eastern Europe, are – if I am honest – hazy in detail), I do know, unequivocally, that it was because of Mallorie – because of taking pride in the pride and pleasure she took in us – that I participated all those years. Her combination of joy and cheerful discipline – and her irrepressible, infectious smile, so effective at making us smile during a performance – made us better that we deserved to be. Though I’m not sure I can carry the tunes as well as I once (thought I) could, I remember nearly every song we ever learned – and have sung many of them to my young sons when trying to get them to sleep. She is a true treasure, and a pillar of the foundation of Amherst’s pride in being the ‘Singing College.’ Homer Robinson '91

13: Dear Mallorie, Singing with you was divine! I never will forget the rousing choruses of every Amherst song. I still know all the words to Flower Fed Buffalo and sing it to my cat. Thanks so much for the unsurpassed experience of singing with the Concert Choir. You are a uniquely talented and warm teacher/conductor...and friend! Love, Wendy (Rankin) Plummer '89 Dear Mallorie, You showed us the world through song! We have fond memories not only of tours in the USSR, Czechoslovakia, and Italy, but of our many concerts with you and, of course, of house and baby-sitting at your place. I still have that book by Kerman you gave me as a graduation present and I am still trying to figure out what Musicology is. We are living in Princeton this year. Our children are taking piano lessons through Westminster Choir College, our daughter Maia sings in a choir there, and I will be delivering a lecture at Westminster in the spring. We think about you each time we drive by there. Best wishes for many more years at the singing college! Love, Tony Sheppard '91 and Lara Shore-Sheppard '91 Brava! and congratulations, Mallorie, on your 25 years of choral excellence at Amherst! How fondly I remember that wonderful trip to Russia and Czechoslovakia in 1990 with you and the Amherst Glee Club. I was proud and happy to be the designated mother. I loved it all – the concerts, the repertoire, the exuberant singing and your inspired leadership throughout. I have never forgotten the exhilaration of standing in Wenceslaus Square in Prague, commemorating the patriotism and sacrifice of the young Czech students of that previous November. Or the fun I had sipping a glass of champagne in the somewhat faded, yet still glorious casino in Karlovy Vary with all my elegant escorts still in concert dress. I thought to myself, "Now, THIS is the way to travel – with 50 handsome young college men in tails! WOW!" I send my warmest regards and good wishes for the blessings of continued success and joy in your work! In fond remembrance, DeAnn Clancy P'90 (Lee Clancy's Mom)

14: Congratulations Mallorie! I can't believe that it's been over 21 years since the mighty Amherst College Glee Club was traipsing around the former Czechoslovakia and Soviet Union singing U Boj, Kalinka, Izatate, and Kro Hinh! What a fantastic trip, even if the food in the USSR was anything but fantastic! Indelible memories from that trip include all the Russian kids waving goodbye to our bus as we left the St. Petersburg concert and lambada-infused post-party, impromptu singing in the Marienbad square, touring a ruined Minsk neighborhood by night, and various pilsener-filled evenings in Prague watering holes. Best of luck to you for the next 25 years! Cheers, Lee Clancy '90 | Thank you, Mallorie, for lots of music and fun. One memory stands out: the Glee Club trip to Russia in 1990. In spite of taking many trips to Russia since then, nothing else has compared. Rod Thomas '91 Thank you Mallorie for guiding with such care and passion our gleeful ark of poker-playing monkeys. Kanpai, and may it never rain tomorrow (if tomorrow is a concert)! Jason Chang '05E Mallorie Chernin is the best! I had never sung before Amherst but joining the Glee Club was one of the best decisions I made at Amherst. Kanpai Mal! Jacob Schulz '02 | I joined the Glee Club very early on, and as a freshman green behind the ears, I came to appreciate Mal not just as a director, but also as a caring person. As a bit of tongue-in-cheek, I made up a Facebook group as an homage to her: Mal Is My Mom. I was definitely not the only person who felt this way; others joined the group and I think it boasted close to fifty members last I saw. Not bad! It's a testament to how much Mal meant to us while we were in college. Garrett Snedeker '09 Congratulations, Mal! from Ben "Softo" Softness '06

16: I sang in Women's Chorus my freshman year, in '90-'91. I always remember Mallorie smiling. She beamed her encouragement to us at rehearsals and especially at concerts. She deserved much credit for our performance, yet she seemed to be bursting with pride in us, too. I liked rehearsals in the dark evenings, the warm-ups, the volume and energy of our singing, the work we put into learning the pieces, the joy of participating in concerts. I still sing the alto part - and only ever the alto part - to "Joy to the World" at Christmas. Thanks, Mallorie, and may you be blessed! Suzanne Schindler '94

17: I can't believe that Mallorie has been with Amherst for 25 years! I was the Women's Chorus president from 1995-1997 and I remember Mallorie as not only as a great musician and choral director, but a great friend. She gave so much of herself to her singers. Being part of the Women's Chorus was one of the best parts of my college experience. There were so many great memories: the concerts at Amherst, the concert tour to the Czech Republic and Poland, the parties... Congratulations to Mallorie and here's to many many more years! Love, Jean Park '97 Dear Mallorie, Greetings from Denmark! Congratulations on your 25 years at Amherst College. I cannot be there in person for Homecoming, but I have only fond memories of you. You were so good at remembering our names and very patient with us. After singing with Women's Chorus at Amherst, I sang in church choir but since I had my daughter, I have been inactive on that front. But that will all change this fall. I am planning to sing again by joining a local choir! Thank you for teaching us the life-long joy of music. Take care, Mariko Yoshino Bak '93 I have fond memories of working with Mallorie Chernin in Glee Club in fall 1994, as a freshman. I enjoyed her dedication to music and her perseverance for perfection, and I cherish her teaching me to sing my bass part in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in German. She would even go to the extent of bringing in German speakers to improve our pronunciation. My love for music was further inspired by her and led me to sing with Terras Irradient, the Amherst Christian Fellowship a cappella group. The camaraderie within Glee Club was infectious and I have never encountered it again. I have many profound and fond memories of this Amherst experience. Well done Mallorie, we are so proud of you and we are forever touched by your sunbeam in our lives and refreshed by your deep love for music. I hope Glee Club continues to retain its freshness and brotherly atmosphere that inspired us to sing our best. Ton ami, Michael Muwonge Lukoma '98

19: I was in Women's Chorus from 1993-1997. I loved Women's Chorus – being part of a group working together to make something beautiful. Since I graduated, I've continued singing in community choruses and, now, with the Choral Union at Arizona State University, where I teach sociology. I've never been a great singer, but Mallorie created an environment where I felt comfortable learning how to be better. Mallorie taught me how to learn a part, follow a conductor, and contribute to the group. These are probably some of the most useful things I learned at Amherst; certainly they're the things I use most frequently, and probably, the things that have given me the most pleasure. I'll be singing the Brahms equiem with my chorus this spring. I first learned this piece with the Women's Chorus in the spring of 1997, and it's now one of my favorite pieces of music. Every time I hear it, I think of Amherst and women's chorus and Mallorie, and how grateful I am to have had that experience. Thank you, Mallorie! Sarah Hayford '97 I was one of the first eastern/central European students at Amherst, and Mallorie was my host mother. She was great. We had a fun time in particular with the Czech language as she arranged our tour my freshman year to be to the Czech Republic and Poland, so we rehearsed some songs in Czech, my mother tongue. But my fondest memory of Mallorie is the sounds of the Women's Chorus and the expression on her face. It was so lit up when the parts finally came together in the right way. You could tell this was the absolute right place for her to be (not sure all of us can say that about our jobs), and for us all. Great to see. Congratulations, Mallorie, on the 25 years! Iva (Kovarikova) Naffziger '98 In Seattle, still singing college songs | I first joined the Women’s Chorus my sophomore year and it was a wonderful experience! We sang such beautiful pieces that year, the most memorable being Beethoven's 9th. One of my favorite memories of that piece was when Graham, who had been working with Mallorie that year, brought in phonetic lyrics for it ("Floyd was saying how Gunther fooled them, both her owls fell easier...")! I laughed so hard I cried, and still break out into giggles even today! All the while, Mallorie was the best! She pushed us but always with warmth and humor, like the way she got us to sing happily by imagining the love of your life to her left or chocolate cake to her right! I can still sing an "A" from memory and always smile when I remember how she would play a few notes from the Aria of the Queen of the Night whenever we happened to hit the high note during our warm-ups. Although I could not participate full-time during my senior year, Mallorie was kind enough to let me be part of the exquisite Brahms Requiem. It was my favorite piece of all. I have Women’s Chorus to thank for such wonderful memories, and most especially for bringing into my life two of the best girlfriends I could have ever asked for, Cristina Maldonado and Rebecca Feldman. To our fearless leader, Mallorie, congratulations! Thank you for kindness, your dedication, your passion for music and for being the heart and soul of the Women’s Chorus and of the Amherst College Choral Society! Mariana T. Osorio '97

21: In the 15 years since I graduated from Amherst, I've sang in at least 6 choirs, including a local opera company choir, in cities as diverse as Boston to Bangkok, and Mallorie is still my absolute favorite conductor of them all. Not only was singing with her great fun, but she also taught me the fundamentals of choir singing, like the precise placing of the consonants (Amheeee-rstso dear...), and those lessons have served me well through all these years. Congratulations on your 25-year anniversary, Mallorie, and thank you for making Choral Society one of the most important and fun parts of my Amherst life, and for allowing me to continue to enjoy singing for my adult life. Ema Naito '95 I have the best memories of Mallorie and Glee Club! The national anthem at Fenway Park, Vespers, Brahms' German Requiem, the list goes on. I think of her often and fondly. I remember people snapping their fingers in applause and Mallorie saying, in a very saccharine but endearing way, "That's . . . because . . . they . . . like . . . you!" I realize this memory will likely be nonsense to anyone but Mallorie, but hope she will remember the joke, which pops into my head nearly every day as a response to life's travails. Huge congrats and love to Mallorie!!! Best, David Bloch '97 (A Baritone and Sometime 2nd Tenor of the Glee Club) | My time at Amherst is inextricably linked with singing, which is odd, considering before college I had never sung before and I don't have much of a voice. But painless auditions were painless as promised, and so I became a Women's Chorus member. I will never forget the various parts of Beethoven's 9th being sung in the shower stalls of the women's floor on North, or how (after getting hooked on choral travel with the women's chorus/glee club trip to Poland and the Czech Republic), Mallory (after much wheedling) let me tag along with the concert choir's tour of Spain and Portugal as their translator/MC. What a joy to be in those hallowed spaces that were meant for singing, listening to the "A" roll down the cannon nave of a gothic church and explode against the back wall in a burst of sound... Her daughter and husband came along on that trip, and it was lovely to share it with her college family and her actual family. My dearest friends from College came from chorus, including two of them who were my bridesmaids in my wedding (Rebecca Feldman and Mariana Osorio). I can't think of "speaking German" without remembering her vowel instructions (tooooast... for the , beeeeycon for the ), or her pre-concert reminder to smile by imagining, on her left side, the love of your life, and on the right side, chocolate cake. I'm smiling now, as I always do, when I remember that last one. Congratulations, Mallory, on 25 years, and thank you for all that you have shared – from the bottom of my heart. Christy Maldonado '98

23: When I came to Amherst, I was fixated on computer science and geology. I ended up in Glee Club kind of by accident. Mallorie showed me, through her musicality and humanity, what I had been missing about music and about singing in particular. By my junior year at Amherst I had switched my major to Music and was directing the DQ. I spent a year as Mallorie's assistant, grad school followed, and now a life as a musician. I owe a large part of where I am today to what she showed me as a student at Amherst. She was one of a small handful of people that changed my life-path in a profound and lasting way, and I am forever grateful to her for that. Thank you Mallorie! Greg Brown '98

24: Mallorie! I knew we had it good when we were there, but it wasn't until after I left Amherst that I realized the true impact of your gift to us. The selfless sharing of your time, talent, incredible ear, and support are qualities that are hard to find in one individual, and the results were outstanding! On top of all this, you showed us that is was possible to be successful as a working mom (something I greatly appreciate now) and we just had so much damn FUN with you! I'll never forget building sandcastles on the beach in Portugal, hanging out with then-little Shira on the tour bus, or singing in the gardens of the Alhambra palace. A few years ago I had a chance to return to the Alhambra, and I got chills remembering the power of that moment back in 1997. There were so many equally powerful moments, from Magnum Mysterium my freshman year in Concert Choir to Danny Boy, one of the very last songs I performed as a senior (and one that still brings tears to my eyes). Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have shared, and may these next 25 years at Amherst (yes, because you have to be there when my son David attends!) bring you all you desire and more. Love, Arlene Silva '99 I remember Mallorie being one of the most popular teachers because she always had the perfect mix of being silly and laughing with us, but then also getting us to be serious when it was time do get things done. My fondest memory of her was after one of our women's chorus concerts. We had a party in one of the senior houses and she got up on the windowsills with us and danced the night away! We could see out the windows at everyone walking by, and they looked at us like we were having the best time! All my best to you, Mallorie. Ingrid Seroppian Corona '00 | Dear Mallorie, The very first Concert Choir rehearsal I attended in the fall of 1995, we sight-read Barber's Reincarnations. Up until that time, I'd never had the opportunity to sing in such a wonderful group, and that experience remains one of the highlights of my musical life because I knew that the next several years would be filled with incredible singing. And I was right! Concert Choir was absolutely the best part of my Amherst experience, musically and socially. During college, I knew I was lucky to be able to sing with you, and since graduating I have only come to respect you more and more as a musician and friend. You produce amazing results with your choirs, choose interesting and varied programs, and create a warm, welcoming environment so that going to choir rehearsal is like eating a home-cooked meal. I've now known you for 16 years and have gone from babysitting your child to having your child babysit mine! I feel blessed to have sung with you for many years, and I am grateful to have you as a friend. With love, Whitney Lyman '00

25: Mallorie, to put it simply, is wonderful. Memories of Mallorie and being part of Women's Chorus are an integral part of reminiscing about college, and she is the one person I've sought out during random returns to campus. Going on tour to Japan with her was one of the highlights of four years at Amherst, and the perfect way to cap off commencement: friends, singing, and shabu-shabu. A few memories from that tour: - Singing to the tune of Edelweiss at lavish receptions (which had free-flowing beer) - Excerpts of Mozart's Requiem with the Tamagawa chorus - The Kappa mascot that met us in Tono - Finding a relief that included Johnson Chapel in Kanegasaki - Singing and feeding the fish while drifting down a river in the Geibi Gorge Congratulations, Mallorie, on being such a great part of Amherst for 25 years! Warmly, Kristen Lem Stevens '03 and Mike "Sherpa" Stevens '03 | Mallorie Chernin was an inspiration to me both personally and musically. While I was at Amherst College, it was obvious to me that she loved her singers as much as she loved music itself, and she knew how to convey that. Amherst is lucky to have enjoyed her presence for 25 years. Caleb Moon '04 During my tenure in the Glee Club, Mallorie took the choral groups on a tour of Italy and Austria where we had various scheduled concerts. As you might imagine, we also had a number of memorable impromptu moments. One in particular was when we were at St Mark’s Basilica in Venice. Mallorie had the guts to let the Basilica representatives know that we were a choral group and asked if we could sing a song or two. To my surprise, they okayed the request and next thing I knew we were singing in the main Venice cathedral! It was pretty incredible and all thanks to Mallorie’s leadership, love of music, passion for teaching, and faith in her students. Mallorie is a wonderful leader and I am so glad she is still with the College! Simon Rosof ‘00

26: Mallorie, thank you for giving us many of our happiest memories in college and beyond: Backrubs and warm-ups in Room 3. Naps and homework outside Room 3. Finding a home away from home amongst the voices of Women's Chorus. Throwing candy during Hand Me Down My Bonnet. Buckley glowing in the dark after a cold walk from Valentine for rehearsal. Tom Gerety rapturously declaring you "older than Jazz." Singing in Esterhazy Palace – and coming up with new pronunciations of the word "dictionary" – on the Eastern Europe tour in '01. And later that year, gathering around the piano to sing, in shock, with our new freshmen in Concert Choir the Wednesday night after September 11, and again in Johnson Chapel for the service later that week. A little group of us who had gone to Mount Desert Island for fall break the next year singing Three Gifts to keep warm as we waited for sunrise on Cadillac Mountain. Starting off "Once in Royal David's City" to a full Johnson Chapel at Vespers. Singing Lord Jeff with the best of them at football games. Never-ending beer glasses and trading off songs with Doshisha in Japan '03. Coming back up on that familiar stage for Homecomings, and to join in Beethoven. And serenading a particular little baby girl on her first day of life with Mara Levi's arrangement of "Goodnight, My Angel" from our freshman year. Thank you for sharing your warmth, your humor and your passion for music – and for teaching us the power of music to entertain, heal, teach, and bring joy. Much love always, Lisa Glazer '03 and Ania Wieckowski '03

28: About these photos: the first, “Chairman Mal,” was taken when we were on tour in Italy in 1999. Mallorie was standing on a low stone wall conducting us for an informal post-dinner sing-along. I snapped this picture, not realizing in this pre-digital age how imposing she’d look – as if she should be speaking in front of a large portrait of herself. We printed a copy of this at 8x10 and hung it in the practice room high above the music cubbies where Mallorie couldn’t quite reach it. Despite my imagined narrative, I think it’s actually a quite flattering picture! The other is of the Glee Club, with Mal, preparing to sing the National Anthem for the Boston Celtics. During my era here, Mal was great about allowing us to begin pushing out into the community – singing for the Red Sox, the Celtics, going to see Letterman in New York, singing in a local nursing home. She was not only an encouraging leader, but also a great co-conspirator and travel partner in all of this! Thanks very much for everything, Mal. Brent Alderman Sterste '00

29: Mal is just the sweetest, most wonderful person. It's tough to capture all that she means to me in a quick summary or telling of an anecdote. She does so much more than simply conduct singing groups at Amherst. She helps foster and maintain communities. I knew I had stumbled upon something special when, a few months into my time at Amherst, I found myself in Pratt Library after the homecoming game singing college songs with alums going back more years than they probably care to admit! That singers look forward to coming back whenever they can to sing again is a special thing – and Mal has been the one leading the charge for so many of us. I heard legendary stories of people going on tour and singing abroad and hoped that I'd get the chance one day to do so myself. Which I did during the summer of 1999 in Austria and Italy! But Mal is so much more than just a conductor. She is a true friend to so many of us. I remember fondly the endless hours after rehearsal had ended talking about anything and everything (including South Park), with these discussions often lasting into the wee hours of the night. And she never forgets you even after you graduate! I came back to sing with Glee Club the year after I graduated as I was still in the area, was invited to sing the anthem before a Red Sox game (she knew I was a big fan), and have been invited back to sing some of the big spring concerts when she needed another tenor. So congrats to Mal on 25 years! She has touched so many Amherst alums' lives and I'm privileged to say that I'm among them. Scott Wands '00 | In the spring of 2000, my senior year, the Women's Chorus was rehearsing Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. The piece begins with a vibrant "O Fortuna!", but Mallorie cracked us all up when she sang out "O For-Salmon" instead. To this day, whenever I hear that piece, I think of her and smile! Mallorie truly embodies the qualities of a great teacher. She is kind, funny, professional, thorough... She is both passionate and compassionate, and she always seems to have at least as much energy as the students she works with. I had very little singing experience before Amherst, and I wasn't one of the strongest voices in the chorus. However, Mallorie always made me feel included and important. At rehearsals and performances, I admired her commitment to her music as much as her commitment to her students. She not only made sure that we sang our notes properly, enunciated our words, and understood the meaning of our pieces, she also taught us about working together and striving towards a common goal. We worked very hard for each performance, sometimes even when we were stressed out or busy or sick. But we never left the stage after a concert without feeling that Mallorie was so proud of what we had sung and that all our hard work had been worth it. In the spring of 2010, ten years after graduation, I won an award from Amherst for teaching in an urban public school. I invited Mallorie to come to the luncheon because she had been such an inspiring teacher to me. I wasn't sure if she would remember me, or if she would be able to make it even if she did. But there she was. When I spoke about my students and the struggles they face, I saw that she was in tears. Even though I was not singing this time, I again had that feeling that Mallorie was so proud of me and all my hard work. As a high school teacher, I hope to have the same kind of rapport with my students as Mallorie has with hers. I hope my students always feel that I am just as proud of their accomplishments as Mallorie has always been of the achievements of her choruses. Nicole A. Marti '00

30: Congratulations Mal! 25 years of putting up with dangerous candy projectiles during college songs, hordes of unruly alumni descending periodically to disrupt the tranquility of the Valley, raucous overseas tours with the possibility of international incidents, and of course hundreds and hundreds of mischievous Glee Clubbers? What a tribute to your skill as an educator, your vision as an artist, your patience and open door as a friend and den mother, and of course your boundless enthusiasm for music. I sure have a lot of wonderful memories of my four years with the Choral Society. Just to name a few: Dangerously exuberant Buckley entrances, with the ever-present fear of tripping Appreciating the skill necessary to produce truly authentic animal noises during Old Man Noah The oversize personality and un-PC jokes of one Jeff Phillips Wondering (plausibly) whether both Ed Lane and Mike Reilly might actually have been at Amherst longer than you had Learning correct pronunciations for songs in more than 20 languages that I'll probably never even hear again (Hey ee-goz-EET-shod, YOLL oh LAHHH-bohd....teez fahr shong yah hoej mahr YAHH-road?) If something goes wrong, blame it on the baritones Jesse Jackson missing our performance of MLK to take a phone call (or maybe he just heard I was going to be soloing and saved himself the agony...) Roaming Spain and Portugal with luminaries like Nuno Sa'Couto (and having his extended family and fan base cheer us on)...and shedding tears at the final farewell with the local Fado performance and our own moving renditions of the Portuguese folk songs (Os homens que vao pra guerra?) Risking our lives on Portuguese mountain roads that seemed to be half the width of the bus while somehow traveling at near-Autobahn speeds Starting my Amherst experience with immersion in the Brahms Requiem that set a new bar for my expectations for the possibilities of choral performance Razzing cheers to Dan Boxer (eventually regardless of whether he actually did something to deserve it), then turning the cross-hairs on whoever might actually deserve it Appreciating the wise Club leadership and occasionally bizarre philosophy of Ben Metcalf...for example, who knew Club Spaghetti Dinners were measured in "units" of pasta? Glee Club Senior Roasts, with all the unexpected revelations - some just gut-bustingly hilarious, some humiliating, still others hopefully remaining out of the hands of the authorities On tour, never quite pronouncing "Jugendgastehaus" correctly, but enjoying the attempt

31: Touring Austria and Italy while being nicknamed after a pet pig and consuming more than my fair share of Pixy Stix over the Atlantic Getting to learn from multiple genuine international men of mystery (Kuni Shimada chatting up Serbian waitresses in their native language?) Discovering the boundless verse variations of Day-O with the help of an ample Fuel supply Perfecting "South Park" routines with the able and antic camaraderie of Scott Wands, Victor Li, and Brent Sterste A lot of laughter, hours of rehearsal fun, dozens of exciting and challenging musical numbers, adrenaline-rushing performances, making lots of lifelong friends... And my immense gratitude to you for being the heart of the Amherst choral society experience and really making it all possible! It was tough saying farewell to the Fairest College back in 2000, and I feel very fortunate that we have been able to stay in touch in the years since. And I know my stories represent just a tiny fraction of the hundreds of other students, alumni, and colleagues whose lives you have touched through your caring outlook, sly sense of humor, and of course your music. Congratulations on 25 years, and thanks for all that you do! "Phat Pat" Moulding '00 | I never sang before joining Glee Club, and I still don't think of myself as much of a singer. But I could read music and I guess I blended in well with the background. I'm really happy that Mallorie let me join Glee Club because it was the best thing I did in college. I miss the heck out of those guys and our rehearsals. During senior year, when things were starting to wrap up I was emotionally okay, even while experiencing certain "lasts" (last class, last final exam, last time staying up watching bad movies on TV – actually, I still do that). That changed after the last time I sang with choral society. I think I sobbed like a baby and it was so bad that Mal actually had to come over and hug me and tell me it was going to be okay. That pretty much sums her up. Always there for us, always making us feel good about ourselves, and always giving us a chance to excel and succeed. Congrats on 25 wonderful years, Mal! Thanks for everything! Victor Li '00

32: On tour in Hungary in Summer 2005: Your bathroom buddy misses you! Cheers, Jane Fung '06 | Dear Mallorie, Thank you for making my transition to Amherst easier, for making it possible for me to go to Japan, and for all the fun concerts. I still miss Vespers. And it was always great to have another friendly face from WI around! Best, Jen (Wertheimer) Meyer '05

33: Oh, Mallorie, Mallorie, Mallorie. From the day I walked into the Choral Room, an absolutely terrified freshman auditioning for you and Mollie, you have been an incredibly special person to me. You were so friendly and cheerful during my audition I almost forgot to be nervous (almost). Singing for you was the first time I felt like I could really add something to a choir, and learn so much from its director. When I was at choir, it was such a joy to hear the sounds we could make with you leading us, no matter how tired or stressed out I was. You were a phenomenal conducting teacher (despite making me spend hours with that stupid rubber band!) and such wicked good fun in your office. Working as your assistant was so very much fun (probably a little too much fun!), and I'm so glad I got an extra year to spend with you. The Choral Society just wouldn't be the same without you at the helm, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you give to all of us. And in honor of a certain tour evening in Japan, I leave you with this: A fish swims into a brick wall and says...? Love, your Rachie (Rachel Dunham '05)

34: "I still remember that beautiful smile Mallorie would have when the audience behind her would erupt into applause. I wish I could have taken a photo of that smile." "I realized Mallorie was a really good conductor when one of the guest conductors took over and suddenly I was only getting a tenth as much information from her hand-waving that I'd been getting from Mal's." "Every time we go back to sing group numbers at Homecoming, etc, her face lights up when she makes eye contact with you in the sea of singers. It's such a special feeling to still be remembered years after you've left." with love from Daisy Cheung '07, Tara Kulkarni '07, Sawa Matsueda Savage '07, Laura Strickhart '07, Tiffany Chiang '07, Reiko Sono '07

35: Mallorie made the start of my Amherst experience so warm and welcoming. She is able to lead a chorus by demanding high standards while at the same time being humane and understanding. I'm so glad I participated in Glee Club. Mallorie is an incredible asset to the Amherst community. Jacob Glass '11

36: I was president of the Concert Choir for the 2008 calendar year. Right after the holidays, Mal had shoulder surgery and ended up being out for the entire rehearsal period leading up to the choral-orchestral concert. The college had to get not one, not two, but THREE different people to replace her. And even then, she couldn't stay away – she kept in meticulous contact with all three of the Choral Society presidents, and as soon as she possibly could, she was back in Buckley, keeping a close eye on her flock of singers. Everyone missed her terribly – they told me so, repeatedly – and when she came back, it was like the missing spark in the rehearsal room was back. She truly is the lifeblood of the choral program at Amherst. Zoe Fenson '09

37: It was 8 am on a Saturday morning and I was still recovering from a party the night before. I was in JChap and helping prepare for Vespers. I normally sang Tenor II, but I was in rough shape. When Mal said good morning to me, and I replied with a froggy "Morning," without skipping a beat she said "A Baritone this morning huh? Sounds like you had a good night" and handed me a hot cider with a wink. Mal always had a knack for knowing exactly what was going on, and that mix of insight and kindness was something I'll forever cherish. Richard Mills '08 Mal has been one of the most influential figures I've had here at Amherst, and maybe in my life, too. I came into college never having sung, not very musically talented, and scared out of my wits of putting myself out there. But I wanted to try something new and singing seemed like it could be it. I tried out and my audition with Mal was the first time I really had sung in front of anyone. I did horribly, absolutely horribly – but she still let me into the Glee Club. And that was the start of something that would define my experience here. Mal put her faith in me and through the years that has led to incredible growth, and I know that I owe her for it. She has been a constant figure of support, and I know that my time at Amherst would be something completely different without her presence. Ben Lin '12 Fairest woman I have ever met in my life... Fangda Wan '10

39: We All Love You, Mallorie!

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  • By: Lisa V.
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  • Title: We All Love Mallorie
  • This album contains photos and text from Amherst alums to celebrate Mallorie Chernin's 25th anniversary as Choral Society director.
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  • Published: about 8 years ago