Sophomore Charlotte Root likes old things – really old things.
Her favorite composer is William Byrd, a Shakespearean era organist best known for the development of the English madrigal. She studies Latin, which she speaks and sings. And she will be spending part of her summer studying archeology and Cuneiform script, one of the earliest known written languages dating back to Mesopotamia.
Why the fascination?
“I don’t know,” she said. “I’ve always enjoyed linguistics and the antiquities. I’m really interested in the Romance languages.”
Part of it is related to her experiences singing in the choir at St. Richard’s Episcopal School in her hometown of Indianapolis. That is where she was exposed to Byrd’s works, which include several pieces written in Latin. She also studied French from the fourth through the eighth grade, and the choir performed songs in Danish, Hebrew, and “High Church Slavonic,” with the students learning them phonetically.
Culver has so many opportunities to offer, and there is such a great group dynamic among everyone on campus
She will be taking her love of classical and religious music to the East Coast this July when she participates in an intensive vocal and choral program at the Boston Conservatory. The two-week session will focus on musical theater and classical music, with classes designed to enhance the singer’s performance skills, improve their sight-reading of music, and delve into music theory.
During that time, Root will be performing two solo recitals and participating in a major ensemble piece. Her classes will be taught by Boston Conservatory instructors and the participants will also be attending theatrical performances in the evening.
Root had to audition for the program. Part of the reason she is so interested is to develop her ability to read music better, which is spotty right now, she said.
The busy summer will keep her away from home, where she is one-third of a set of triplets. She is the only one who decided to attend Culver. “Culver has so many opportunities to offer,” she said, “and there is such a great group dynamic among everyone on campus.”
And absence has made the heart grow fonder, she said. “I’ve gotten a lot closer to my brother. And my sister and I don’t fight half as much.”