Sophomore Retreat and Music Performances!

Hi everyone! Hope you’re all enjoying the beautiful fall weather we’ve been having here in Worcester! These past few weeks have been super busy but  I found time to get to the Joyce Contemplative Center for a retreat and attend a couple amazing performances sponsored by the Music Department.

The view is still beautiful even on a cloudy day from the patio at the Joyce Contemplative Center

This past weekend I was able to get away from campus for a bit and visit the beautiful Joyce Contemplative Center, opened in September 2016. It’s only about 20 minutes from campus, but it feels like a world away! I visited for two nights as part of a sophomore retreat focused on reflection, and how to find purpose in our various paths at Holy Cross, especially as we face a lot of decisions about study abroad, internships, and declaration of majors. The retreat is rooted in Ignatian spirituality and is inclusive of all faith backgrounds and traditions, like all things at Holy Cross. Although I didn’t walk away from the retreat knowing exactly what I want to do with my life, I have the tools to be able to reflect and figure it out!

Declan Cronin ’19 (a senior leader) and some of the sophomores and I enjoying the view from the patio of the Joyce Contemplative Center

In addition to hearing talks from our wonderful leaders (shoutout to Declan, Lilly, and Caroline for sharing!), we also found time to bond as a group, including going on a hike on the trails around the center as well as playing games and doing puzzles after our final prayer in the evening. I was able to make a lot of new friends and strengthened many existing friendships!

Additionally, I attended two wonderful performances sponsored by the music department these past two weeks. One was Mike Monaghan and Friends, a jazz concert with our jazz professor, Mike Monaghan and some of his SUPER cool music friends (including a pianist for the Boston Pops and a drummer who played with Dizzy Gillespie). As always, it was a great take for jazz players as well as newcomers to the genre, and everyone appreciated their immense skill and talent!

Just yesterday, violinist Michelle Ross visited campus and played a concert with two of our Artists-in-Residence, Adam Golka and Jan Muller-Szeraws. Their program was beautiful as well as moving — truly one of the best performances I have attended here! In addition to performing some truly amazing music, Maestra Ross attended a rehearsal for the Chamber Orchestra and provided some of her skilled insights as a former guest concertmaster for the London Symphony Orchestra. In addition to being a skilled player, she is a wonderful person and shared some meaningful art with us here in Worcester!

Looking ahead, this coming weekend is Family Weekend — a great weekend not just because families visit, but because there are a lot of fun shows and events for students and families, including a jazz concert, a cappella performances, and a football game! I also have my first big history paper due next week, so hopefully I can sneak out of the library and enjoy some of the fun events!

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