by Brent Wells, Associate Dean & Musical Director
When I think about the MCO experience, the images that flit through my mind are not of the concert halls where we have performed, the CDs we have made, or the scores of music we have sung and played. While those things are all important, they are not at the core of what we are about. No, when I think about MCO, I see the faces of friends, colleagues, singers, instrumentalists—I see you. I see sacrifice and commitment, I see engaged purpose-driven people who are willing to be part of a cause and a community in which they believe.
I am humbled by the many talented individuals from all walks of life who choose to be part of MCO. We live in a world that pulls us in many directions. Our youth are involved in sports, theater, music in their schools, church groups, student government, part-time jobs, and the list goes on. Our adult participants are talented men and women who already have full lives, who, in addition to their jobs, are committed to philanthropic endeavors, volunteering in our communities and churches, and raising families in this challenging world. Yet against this backdrop of daunting demands on your time, you have chosen to come and be part of the MCO community.
What are the characteristics of the “MCO community?” We talk about it at our first rehearsal and reinforce it throughout the season. We encourage everyone to “check their ego at the door,” we ask for a high level of commitment, and we ask all participants to engage musically, socially, and spiritually. We ask you to be an integral contributor in the creation of an environment where a diverse group of individuals of all ages and all faiths can come together to unite in a common purpose.
Sometimes words like purpose, mission, or outcomes are used in our results-oriented world to shape goals and drive assessment. MCO is no different. What is our mission or purpose? What is the outcome of our unified efforts? The answer to the question “Why MCO?” isn’t just about our concerts each season. It’s about our community. It’s about each participant finding a home at rehearsal every week. It’s about forging relationships and growing collectively as we bring our unique talents and individuality to this endeavor. I find myself saying time and time again—because I feel it so strongly—thank you for what you do, but perhaps more importantly, thank you for who you are! Thank you for being part of an MCO community that provides such an emphatic answer to the question “Why MCO?”.