OBU women find community with Bisonettes

Chelsea Weeks, Contributing Writer

There are many groups on campus to help students release some stress and get away from the chaos of life for a bit.

These groups can include a foreign language club, sports team, social club, theater group or music ensemble.

The Bisonettes Glee Club is an all-women’s choir that has been singing wonderful music since 1954.

Currently, 60 students sing in the choir. Dr. James Vernon, professor of music, is the director.

Senior Beth Clark, has been a member of the Bisonettes for four years. She is currently serving as the group’s vice president.

“It has provided a form [of] stress relief through a stressful four years,” Clark said.

Whether one has been in Bisonettes for a long or short period, the choir does impact the lives of the singers.

“Bisonettes has helped me grow musically. I never used to sing in front of people, so it has helped me get out of my comfort zone,” first year Bisonettes member Emilie Griffin said.

Jessica Chadwick, another first year Bisonettes member, explains why she wanted to join the Bisonettes.

“I joined because last semester I was super stressed because of school, a failed relationship and how things were going at home,” Chadwick said.

“I knew that singing and learning how to sing better would help, so I joined.”
Some students have joined not only for the enjoyment, but also for credit.

“I actually joined Bisonettes because it is required in my degree plan,” Griffin said.

“However, it has become my favorite time of the day. I always leave happier than I came.”

Alena Blakely / The Bison

When looking back, several of the members commented on their favorite memories of their time in Bisonettes.

“During rehearsal, Dr. V told us get out our ‘Messiah’ books and he said ‘his yoke is easy and his eggs are over well.’ It kept me laughing all day,” Chadwick said.

Some people brought up Dr. Vernon’s humor, while others remembered the excitement of the many parties and retreats.

“My favorite memory so far is the Halloween party,” Griffin said. “It was so much fun. All of Dr. Vernon’s jokes are great too.”

The more seasoned members described some of the memories made on the different tours.

“[My favorite memories are] when JV [Dr. Vernon] made us perform ‘El Vito’ before we were ready, or that time we sang Cripple Creek Girls in a minor key,” Clark said.

There are many things to love about being in a choir, or on a team or in a club; some of the Bisonettes described their favorite aspect of the music ensemble.

Some of the women enjoyed making music, and to others it was more about the process of learning to read and sing better. To some, they just enjoyed the community of sisters.

“I would advise someone else to join because Bisonettes is such a wonderful community led by the amazing Dr. Vernon,” Griffin said. “In his class, you will laugh and you will grow musical- ly. It is just such a wonderful group to be a part of.”

Many of the Bisonettes agree that being in this vocal ensemble offers a great atmosphere.

“It’s a lot of fun, you’ll learn a lot and you’ll learn to love making music more than you thought you could,” Clark said.

Bisonettes is a great way to meet new people, let of some steam and have a great time, she said.

“I have always loved singing, and I find it super relaxing so getting to sing every week with such a great group of women has really helped my stress level.” Chadwick said.

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