Newbie Notes
by Tim “Pescador” Masterton ‘07

For most students, the transition into college can be easy or hard or a combination of the two, but it is necessary – the time just seems right. Notre Dame is definitely the best place to make this transition. Though it was not easy for me at first, I have been blessed in my new-found membership in the Notre Dame and Folk Choir families. The transition into college is best attempted when accompanied by God, made visible in song and presence by a choir of caring friends.

My first exposure to our fine choir came in January 2003, to celebrate my suburban-Chicago parish’s 100th anniversary. The choir provided music (obviously) for Mass and later gave a concert, during which I was surprised to be receiving the music at the door and encouraged to sing along. From that moment, the Folk Choir’s music became what Notre Dame was to me and what it was to become. I was so overwhelmed that I made sure that some Folk Choir music would be later used at my high school’s graduation Mass. I knew that ND was where God wanted me to be, and I knew that if I was admitted, I would do everything I could to take part in this awesome ministry.

August rolled around, and I moved into Knott Hall as a homesick, snot-nosed first-year student, who may have needed a map to find his way to the dining hall and back to the dorm, but was eager to get involved. I sought out Folk Choir auditions and was ecstatic to see my name on the final list of “newbies.” My whole Notre Dame experience truly began at this point, and I only became happier and more faith-filled and gained a greater awareness of God’s many blessings.

Not only did being in choir add some structure to my collegiate life through rehearsals and Mass, but I began to recognize familiar faces around campus, those of Folkheads who knew my name, though I had no idea of theirs. They may have barely known me, but they all made a great effort to get to know my fellow newbies and me. Among other things, I began to appreciate sweater vests on a whole new level, I learned when to slam or hit my binder as a percussion instrument, and I discovered the hilarity of nicknames for the entire Tenor section.

I get chills when singing “Siyahamba” from the Basilica loft as a postlude, and I don’t think that will ever change. I truly love each and every member of this wonderful choir. Being a member has deepened my faith life, and the Folk Choir is the most wonderful ministry I have ever taken part in. I am so proud and humbled to be a part of such a loving and talented group. I look forward to years of love, memories, and ministry. Now that I am a Folkhead, “How can I keep from singing?!”