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Student Profile: Becky Schewe

A member of the DePaul Community Chorus and DePaul Community Chorus Chamber Singers, Becky Schewe is the first to admit that music is an integral part of her life. When she is not busy singing first soprano on Tuesday nights, Becky works as a business manager for three different enterprises with her husband and in her spare time attends concerts with her daughter, travels all around the world and rides her motorcycle across the American Southwest. Becky’s next performance will be with the DePaul Community Chorus as they present Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” on May 31st at the Merle Reskin Theatre.

Q. How did you first get started in music?

I grew up in Indianapolis, which is a great music town, or at least it used to be 100 years ago. Everyone had to take chorus or a musical instrument and it was part of the curriculum to start with voice in kindergarten. I chose violin in fourth grade because I couldn’t get anything else to make a sound. I would have loved to play cello but they didn’t have smaller instruments and it was quite a bit larger than I was. Even a viola was too big for me so I ended up with a ¾ size violin. My family didn’t care for it but I liked it and was first chair violin by the time I was in 8th grade. I would have been there sooner but I had to wait all those years for the guy in front of me to graduate.

Q. Was the rest of your family musical?

They appreciated music but the only other person in my family who showed any musical talent was my brother. He can literally pick up almost any instrument and start playing, but he can’t sing a note, so there!

Q. Why did you initially stop playing?

My Dad lost his job and we moved to Illinois while I was in high school. I couldn’t play violin because they only had a marching band at my new school. I stopped singing precisely at the age of 17 when I had my tonsils removed. I didn’t try singing again until joining the DePaul Community Chorus.

Q. What brought you back to singing?

I think it was the same thing that happens to a lot of people. I had lost my mom and I was looking for something to fill my time.  My job had also changed, so I needed something to fill both of those spaces and thought that singing couldn’t hurt. Now that I’ve been in the chorus for over ten years, it’s the people that keep me here. I’ve made wonderful connections through music and I still find it amazing that 100 people can sit around and make music together. During the summer some of us get together on our own and sing. We do a performance at the end of the summer.

Q. Do you have a favorite composter or piece?

It bounces all over. One of my all time favorites is Erik Satie. He’s a bizarre mix of humor, simplicity and complexity that I really like. How could you not like someone who, after reading a critique of his work, objected to the comment that his music was shapeless and instead said that his composition was in the shape of an orange?

Q. Do you have any musical goals that you’re working towards?

I kind of like doing what I’m doing now with the chorus. I’m just happy to make music.​