Ally Dick is a Sixth Former from Worcester, Massachusetts who has been singing ever since she could form words. She is a member of All Saints Choir, the oldest choir in the country. When she was eleven years old she was made head chorister—an impressive title for a singer of that age. She sang with All Saints for eight years and was even paid. The All Saints Choir differs from our school choir in several ways. In addition to choir robes, the choristers also have a dress code. “We have to wear a uniform—it makes me feel hardcore,” Ally explained. “It’s a blue blazer with our choir crest, and we have striped ties with our choir colors. Blue button-down oxfords, too. And we wear a plaid skirt that goes down to your knees, blue knee socks, and black shoes.” When I asked Ally if she preferred this to our choir’s dress code, she said “Yeah. And it makes it easier for me to keep track of all the little children when we go on tour because they’re all wearing the same thing.” Every break, while most Groton students are catching up on TV or sleep, Ally is singing with her choir from home. She hopes to join them on their tour this summer.
Ally has had a starring role in two musicals at Groton — she played Ruth in “Pirates of Penzance” and Hope Cladwell in “Urinetown.” Her other artistic talents include drawing, which she has only done for one term here, and, funnily enough, she is an expert at painting nails. “That’s my fallback — I’d work in a nail salon,” she joked.
Ally’s advisor, Mr. Hampson, has only positive things to say about her. “She has a lovely church-choir—dare I say boyish—charm to her voice. She knows a lot of the repertoire, she knows the norms—the traditions.” I asked him if she thought Ally was turning out to be a good choir prefect. “Very. The other thing being that she’s a dorm prefect as well. But there’s something about singing in a church choir that brings out the best in people—it attracts a certain type of person, so I think the choir people at Groton are some of the most well-rounded, best students—honestly I do.” When I brought up the fact that Ally sings outside of school, he said, “The amount of time that people put in, to something that’s admittedly a fun thing, it’s a lot of time [and it] takes a lot of commitment. She’s very dedicated.”
Mr. Hampson’s enthusiasm for Ally’s role in the choir doubled when I mentioned Lessons and Carols, which is steadily approaching. “She is the one that, every single time we perform for the public, somebody I’ve never met before will come up to me and say, ‘Oh my gosh, the girl that stands on the left as you’re conducting — gosh, she’s into it. She’s passionate.’ Every single time.” This is true, Ally’s performance draws eyes — both in the chapel and on stage. “She’s got stage presence,” Mr. Hampson agrees, “And she was somebody who a lot of people looked to if they were feeling tired out in rehearsal. She’s got a positive attitude.”
With a slightly sad look in his eye, he continued, “And it’s something I think that she can use when she goes to college too. She’ll keep doing it. And I think it’s something that she can always turn to, even when she’s completely stressed.” He paused for a moment, then added with a cheeky grin on his face. “And she’s taking music theory with me in the winter.”