This week’s alumni update comes from Hope Swanson Smith. Hope was a member of FWCC from 2002 to 2009. Her mom is our Administrative Assistant and Financial Manager, so she spends a lot of time at big FWCC events as a volunteer. She loves that she still gets to be a small part of this organization and see singers mature as musicians and as people.
Hope works in Mail Services at Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company. She is trained in two additional areas so she can work wherever she is needed most. Musically, she sings with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Chorus, something she recommends for any FWCC alum, and she is part of the worship team at her church.
1- What is your favorite FWCC memory?
I know it’s a cliche, but how do you choose just one memory out of seven years? I’d have to say performing Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana in 2005 with a small ensemble of fellow Concert Choir members, Heartland, and the South Bend Chamber Chorale. We got to travel and perform in a few different cities, and I fell in love with the work. I’ve had the opportunity to perform Carmina twice since then, and I always think of how far I’ve come in the past eleven years.
2- How did involvement with FWCC impact your life?
Beyond all the music education and the friendships I still have, I learned how to be part of something larger than myself. When you sing in a choir, you learn the importance of blending and harmonizing with your fellow singers. As an adult in a work place, I appreciate the humility that this taught me. There is a time and place for being the soloist, but it’s so important to be willing to step back and help create a better experience for everyone.
3- Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I want to give advice to all FWCC members and alumni: Never stop meeting new people and making music with them. Find a place to sing karaoke. Join a community chorus. Start a band. Find a way to sing or play with others. Collaborating with the people around you is a life-giving experience and there is nothing like it.