An open letter to the Forum Chamber musicians

I’ve overheard you for years, and I am grateful for your talents and gifts

Photo: Flickr

By: Gabrielle McLaren, Peak Associate

Dear Forum Chamber musicians, 

You’ve never met me and I’ve never met you, but I’m familiar with your work. See, The Peak’s office is located right next to Forum Chambers and over my four years at SFU I’ve spent quite a bit of time there — working, studying, slacking off, writing, fuming, pondering, conducting interviews . . . and because of that, the rotating cast of Forum Chambers musicians has been a constant of my degree. 

I’ve heard some of you guys sneak in early morning practices, squeeze in songs between classes, and stick around campus late at night to take advantage of the piano in the room. I’ve heard Korean drumming, acapella rehearsals, “Flight of the Bumblebee,” the theme songs to your favourite anime, Disney tunes, Christmas carols, K-Pop, classical symphonies and odes, pop music covers, and more. I’m sure some of you wrote your own songs that I just didn’t recognize as brand new additions to the music world, too. Sometimes, it was the same song over and over again as a musician tried to get the melody just right; other times, I’d overhear someone soar through ballads as if it was as easy as breathing in and out. 

On a campus where we always talk about a lack of student connection and a lack of student support, you saw a space that could be filled with creativity, talent, passion, and hard work. Like I said, you’ve never met me and I’ve never met you, but hearing you fill campus with just a little bit more art has made me feel more in touch with the community I’m in. I can only remember one late Friday production night in which I didn’t hear anybody play, and it was uncanny. I got annoyed whenever construction drowned out your work or made Forum Chambers impracticable. While social distancing and working from home, the quiet has definitely been one of the strangest adjustments to make and get used to. 

I’m on my way out now, as finals and convocation approaches. That also means that I’ll be turning in my office key after three years. I’m going to miss a lot of things after leaving SFU, even if that was the goal all along and I’ve often said that I couldn’t wait, and strangely enough you guys are one of them. And so before I went, I did want to say thank you for the music.