Why The Spoken Arts Department Is Going To Be Super Cool by Amina Aineb

On the last day of Thanksgiving Break, I was lying on my couch, feeling miserable. I had a cup of steaming hot tea in my lap, three blankets piled on top of me, and my fever was still raging hard. It was about six in the evening, and I had just woken from a brief, disorienting nap when I had wandered into the living room, where my mom and grandma were sitting. They were watching TV and, despite my confusion about who I was or what day it was, I decided to join them.

I could barely focus, but I managed to gather from the blur of shapes on the screen that we were watching a performance by Andrea Bocelli, the famous, blind singer. His eyelids were closed as he leaned into the microphone and sang “Maria” from West Side Story. His voice vibrated and filled the vast theater. And though I’ve never been a fan of musicals, and though I was shaking and near hallucination, I started to cry.

What I realized then was something Heather had told me a long time ago, but I had failed to truly understand what she meant at the time. She said that the human voice was the most beautiful sound ever heard. And I agree. I can’t think of a single animal or force of nature that compares to a person’s voice. We hear it so often that we tend to forget. Just go into a public space, a park, a bus, and just listen to what’s around you. Voices are fascinating. They rise and fall and roll and strike. We have the power to take emotions and assign words and sounds to them. What’s amazing to me is that everyone has different tones and inflections but yet they all serve the same purpose: to articulate what is inside of us.

Obviously, I’m aware that SOTA already has a Vocal Department, but the Spoken Arts branch of Creative Writing will be the first time students will be creating art with special attention to how it is going to sound when performed. And that’s so cool! I hope its freshman year next fall will go alright, because it really is an excellent idea.

Amina Aineb, class of 2017

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