The Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir and the Saint Mary’s Collegiate Choirs will perform their fall concert with Bellacapella on Wednesday in O’Laughlin Auditorium.Conductor Nancy Menk said the Women’s Choir will be singing the same songs they plan to take to the American Choral Directors Association Conference in Chicago this coming February.“One of our pieces, a setting of Psalm 150, is composed by Carolyn Pirtle, assistant director for the Center for Liturgy at Notre Dame, so we have a local composer represented,” Menk said. “Another piece I’m proud of is ‘Heaven Full of Stars’ by Eric William Barnum. It’s a very challenging piece for advanced women’s choirs, and I feel we’re singing it very well.”Sophomore Alyssa Rogers said the challenging music has been exciting to learn.“The music we have been working on is very diverse,” she said. “Some pieces are slow and traditional, but we also have a few that are new and upbeat. Several of the pieces are sung a cappella, and others have very complex piano accompaniment. We are also singing a few pieces in different languages.”Rogers said the concert will showcase the progress and hard work of both choirs.Junior Jackie Schramm said the fall concert is particularly exciting because it is the first time the campus can hear both choirs together. Schramm said she enjoys being in a choir because she can express herself with like-minded people.“Choral music, in my opinion, is a rare opportunity to hear a larger group of people work together to make a uniform sound with just their voices. This skill is not as easy as it seems” Schramm said.Rogers said she has always enjoyed performing arts.“I really enjoy being able to go to choir after all my classes and do something totally different. It’s very relaxing and rewarding for me,” she said. “Most forms of entertainment today are experienced through various forms of media. I think that it is important to appreciate choral music in live performances as well because it is a totally different experience. It’s not always perfect, but it’s real, and that’s what makes it so enjoyable for me.”Menk said participation in choirs has positive effects on students.“There is study after study about how participating in choirs boosts students’ academic abilities and social interactions. It’s a great way to de-stress from homework and exams as well,” Menk said.Tags: bellacappella, chorale, collegiate choir, fall concert, SMC women’s choir, Women’s Choir
Legionnaires’ Disease Closes Cortina InnThe Cortina Inn in Killington was closed late on Thursday, April 3 at the direction of the Vermont Department of Health. This came after laboratory tests of water samples taken on March 29 from several locations within the Inn confirmed the presence of the bacteria Legionella pneumophila in its water system.The Health Department was notified on March 28 about a case of Legionella pneumonia, known as Legionnaires disease. This was the third confirmed case over the past six months, but the first to be strongly linked to exposure at the Inn. Legionnaires disease is treatable with antibiotics, and all three people have since recovered.This is a problem that can be fixed. The Cortina Inn is working closely and cooperatively with the Health Department to take the actions needed to assure the safety of their guests and employees, said State Epidemiologist Cort Lohff, MD. The first step was closing the Inn for however long it takes to treat and disinfect the water system and put in place engineering and monitoring measures to prevent this from happening again.Employees and current guests were advised of the situation yesterday. The Health Department is also working with the Inn to notify any guests who have stayed there since mid-March.People can develop Legionnaires disease after they breathe in aerosolized water containing the Legionella bacteria sprayed through faucets, showers, whirlpool spas, pools, cooling towers, etc. Most people who are exposed to the the bacteria will not develop illness.Legionnaires disease is not spread from person to person, and you cant get it by drinking coffee, driving by or simply walking through a building, said Dr. Lohff. For people who are directly exposed, those most likely to develop serious illness are the elderly, smokers, people with chronic lung disease or compromised immune systems.The disease has two distinct forms: Legionnaires disease, the more severe form of infection, which includes pneumonia and Pontiac fever, a milder illness.An estimated 8,000 to 18,000 people get Legionnaires disease in the United States each year. Symptoms usually include fever, chills, and a cough. Some patients also have muscle aches, headache, tiredness, loss of appetite and, occasionally, diarrhea. Chest X-rays often show pneumonia but specific tests are needed to diagnose legionella pneumonia.