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Midnight Madness

When he played high school football in Montana, Shane Lynch always looked forward to that first practice of the year because it was held a minute after midnight since rules dictated that practice could not begin until three weeks before classes started.

“This was always one of the best practices of the years — we turned on the field lights, put on our game uniforms and scrimmaged even though we didn’t really know anything our team yet,” recalls Lynch. “It was one of the moments and memories that have shaped me as a person, and it is always something I will remember.”

So the question is: will members of Washington and Lee’s University Singers have similar memories of their Midnight Madness event?

Lynch is director of choral activities and assistant professor of music at W&L.

When he realized that the University Singers would be on the program for Fall Convocation on Thursday, he decided he, and they, needed all the time they could get for rehearsal.

They gathered on the stroke of midnight Sunday/Monday for the first rehearsal of the year.

Reactions from the singers themselves indicated that some initial skepticism gave way to enthusiasm

“At first when I heard about the midnight rehearsal, I thought I was going to be exhausted and not really ready to sing,” said junior Sara Korash-Schiff. “But when I got there I knew my initial reaction was wrong. There’s something about singing with a group of people you consider family that is indescribable. I think the whole experience helped bond us further.”

Added senior Sarah Williams: “I’m typically a morning person, so this is a little bit late for me. But it’s fun to see everyone again.”

As he wrote in his “invitation” to the midnight rehearsal, “We will take a chance and come in, tired from moving, anxious for the start of a new year, frustrated because I am taking away an hour from O-week socializing . . . and begin to make music together, letting our voices ring out as only choirs can. It should be the stuff of choir legends you can bore people with when you are old like me.”

You can listen to the University Singers on Thursday during the live webcast of Fall Convocation.