Kristin Moore, who joined us again this year for our annual singing of Spem in Alium, is a member of the great class of 1976. She was with the Glee Club for its Europe tour in 1974 and cherishes wonderful memories from her experiences. Although not a career musician, she remains highly committed to organized choral work, as the following will reveal…
Tell us a little about your life in choirs…
My career was in Information Technology, but I have almost always sung in a chorus or choir from the time I had my first solo back in third grade. I had a mentor, G. Alex Kevan, from that third grade solo all through high school, who definitely influenced my sense of musicality and joy in music. After Princeton (Freshman Glee Club, one year in the Glee Club, and Katzenjammers), I lived in NYC and sang with the New York Choral Society, performing in Carnegie Hall. When I went back to grad school at The University of Texas, I talked my way into the Summer Choral Union without an audition to sing the Chichester Psalms - now one of my favorite pieces. After receiving my MBA, I moved to Dallas where I first sang with a church choir and then joined the Dallas Symphony Chorus for five years. At that point, I determined I preferred a smaller choir and joined the Aria Chamber Chorus. The peril of a smaller chorus is that finances can be a struggle, and after several years and some director changes, Aria folded. I then joined my current chorale, Arts District Chorale (ADC). In addition to singing with ADC, I’m helping behind the scenes with various IT tasks.
Who are the greatest influences on you as a musician?
As I mentioned above, the person who had the strongest influence on my love of music was G. Alex Kevan. Other wonderful directors I’ve sung for include Constantina Tsolainou (director of the Arts District Chorale), Micheal Cervantes [really spelled Micheal - not a typo] (director of Aria Chamber Chorus), Michael Shake (my church choir director) and Jim Maase (a previous church choir director). And I have to give a shout-out to one of the moms in one of my early school carpools. She was driving us home one day. We were singing in the car, and she basically explained harmony to me in a very simple way (since I was young). I’ve been a happy alto ever since!
Your most memorable concert experience?
That’s hard to choose. Four come to mind — two I sang in and two I didn’t. First on my list would be the concert that Arts District Chorale did in May 2015. It was the North Texas premiere of “Annelies”, music by James Whitbourn, libretto by Melanie Challenger and coincided with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. It was so special to perform this amazing piece with the cast of the 2014 Grammy Award-nominated album with soprano Arianna Zukerman and the Lincoln Trio with Bharat Chandra on the clarinet. Such a moving piece! I’d love to do it again. Second would be the all-Ola Gjeilo concert that Arts District just did this spring. The music continues to run through my mind and ear. The two that I didn’t sing in: the first was on the Princeton Glee Club trip to Europe in 1974 when we joined with Westminster Choir College to sing the Mozart Requiem at the Spoleto Music Festival; I had come down with bronchitis after our stay in Venice and couldn’t sing. So I got to sit and listen up in one of the balconies. (Thinking of the Europe trip reminds me that the service we participated in in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was incredibly special to me.) The second concert that I didn’t sing in was one my husband sang in. He was a member of the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club, and we attended their 150th Anniversary weekend a few years ago with members of so many different classes. I was brought to tears just hearing them rehearse before the concert — so beautiful!
Your favorite music to play and listen to?
I don’t play an instrument (despite five years of piano lessons), so the only music I play is recorded music. :) I love listening to choral music, especially a cappella. I really enjoy the Minnesota Public Radio Choral Stream on the web. And as mentioned before, I really enjoy the music of Ola Gjeilo.
What are you working on at the moment?
Both church choir and Aria Chamber Chorus are on summer recess, so I’m not really working on anything musically. I am working on the behind the scenes stuff for ADC, including website updates and researching donor CRM software
Where would I like to be in 10 years’ time?
Well, I’m already happily retired (just attended my 40th Reunion). So I want to be healthy, both mentally and physically, still able to sing somewhere, and ideally living someplace where I can see the water!
What do you enjoy doing most?
I have to say I still enjoy singing the most, especially with a small choir of talented singers. Other hobbies that I enjoy are genealogy (a giant puzzle!) and reading; I’m never without a book.
What did your time in the Glee Club teach you? Any favorite Glee Club memories?
Glee Club was the first time, I think, that I sang in a foreign language. It was also the first time I sang with an orchestra. And, thinking back, I think it might have also been the first time I sang a cappella. Which brings me to my favorite memory — the Europe tour in 1974. That’s not a single memory, but a whole slideshow of memories. We had 50 people in a 51 seat bus for six weeks. Our principal piece of music was the Missa Pange Lingua by Josquin des Pres; I’m listening to it now as I type this. We performed it as a whole piece (Chartres Cathedral), but also as part of a church service (Notre Dame in Paris, in Vienna, and at St. Mark’s in Venice, among others). The places that we were privileged to sing were just incredible, and it was truly a privilege to sing there. It wasn’t just the music either; it was the people on the tour, the folks that are now friends for life. It all comes down to people — as friends and as fellow musicians. (And I have to say — the annual Spem in Alium at Reunions ranks right up there in the list of favorites! Love singing with Gabriel!)