It was 68 degrees in Memphis last Tuesday afternoon, but a group of students from the UTHSC College of Medicine were in the Student-Alumni Center singing, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”
All M1s, they are members of the Hippocratic Notes, a new student choir at UTHSC. They were practicing for their first performance, a free holiday concert for the campus at 12:15 p.m., Friday, December 10, in the Schreier Auditorium in the Student-Alumni Center. (The campus community is invited and ugly holiday sweaters are encouraged!)
Isaac Margolin Graber, 25, is one of the organizers of the group. He sang in his synagogue choir and in college. Graber said the group is the result of a conversation he and fellow M1s, Constance Poplos and Callie Walls, had about how much they loved singing in school and in church choirs. They thought other students might, too.
The trio set up an interest group on their class message board and had their first practice October 19. They ended up with enough Sopranos, Altos, and Tenors to practice weekly and to put on the holiday concert. The founders have assumed lead roles in managing the choir: Walls is the coordinator, Poplos is the musical director, and Graber handles public relations.
“Personally, it gives me a lot of joy,” Graber said. “It’s just a great creative outlet, a time to do something different from the day-to-day grind of school, and just to do something that makes us really happy and something that we also think other people will enjoy, people in our class, or people in different places, where we could sing.”
This is not the first time UTHSC students have demonstrated musicality during the holidays. In 2015, a group of musicians called the UTHSC Student Recital Group presented a holiday concert in tandem with the then-UTHSC A Capella Choir in the Schreier auditorium. Such groups come and go with new classes and subsequent graduations.
Walls, 22, sees personal and community benefits from the choral singing. “I used to be in a choir in high school and I regret not doing it as an undergrad,” she said. “It’s just a nice break. It’s a way to reach out to the community, but also to do something creative.”
The Hippocratic Notes intend to record their holiday hits and share them with UTHSC’s pediatric clinical partner hospital, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, to play for children and families on its in-house channel.
“It’s something that really makes us happy and something that can brighten the mood of people around us,” Graber said.