A Spotlight on Select Women’s Choir Director Miss Morrissey

By J1 Reporter Kathryn Morey

Some say you cannot go home again, but can you? Miss Lauren Morrissey, an alumnae of Marian, returned to be the director of the Select Women’s Choir program. She took over for Miss Cathy Pruitte who was the director of this choir program for many years. Pruitte also instilled her knowledge and love for music in Morrissey when she was her student.

Morrissey has always treasured her love for music starting at a young age. She began dancing at 5, and also became interested in music. When she was cast in a fourth grade “Young American” production, her parents then recognized her talents and abilities. Not only did she showcase her talents through this production, but started taking piano lessons around this time as well.

Morrissey’s next impacting part of her life includes everything she was involved with during her high school career at Marian. She was involved with many musicals, choir, mime club, dance team, knitting and crochet club, recruitment team, and more. She felt it was very exciting and exhilarating to be able to be a part of the big productions at Marian. She was involved with the musicals “Fidler On the Roof”, “42nd Street”, “Annie”. In the Musical Annie, she played the lead role of Annie herself.

Performing and being able to share her talents with the community on a stage was exciting and made Morrissey realize what she wanted to do with her life. She realized that she wanted to share her knowledge and love of music to students in many places. She first began teaching through Omaha Public Schools. She enjoyed teaching young children about the importance of music and taught them how to appreciate the value of music.

After Omaha Public Schools, the timing was right for her to come back to Marian. Morrissey said she is hoping to have a wonderful experience that will last her a lifetime full of fine art memories. Since she was previously taught by Pruitte, Morrissey wanted to not only offer her knowledge of musicality to Marian students, but foster Pruitte’s legacy of spirit and love for music.

Being able to share her knowledge of solfege is of utmost importance. Morrissey said she believes that solfege is helpful to students because it is applying syllables to a musical scale or melody. She said she believes this teaching is valuable and will stick with students throughout high school, and beyond. She wants to recognize John Armstrong, a fellow teacher who has been her mentor, for all his essential advice and talent. She would take many of his classes and workshops to perfect her abilities and spread the knowledge gained, to her students.

Despite her drive and passion for music in the fine arts, she went through a very short time in her life where she didn’t want to teach music. She said she is thankful that these thoughts dissipated quickly, or Miss Morrissey would not be imparting lifelong knowledge in her students, preparing them for the music world. Morrissey continues to strive for the best in her students. She hopes to challenge students to excel at something important to society, a person’s ability to take in and demonstrate music. She wants to continue to do the best she can for all of her students because she believes the knowledge that she inspires, will last through generations of students.

Sophomore Leah Ramaekers said, “Miss Morrissey is a humble, genuine, and true example of what it means to follow your heart, and at the same time being able to make a difference in a student’s life.”

Junior Megan Doehner said, “Every day she comes in with new music or a new scale to try and keep our choir learning and improving.”

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Miss Lauren Morrissey directs a concert during her first year teaching at Marian in 2015-16. Photo courtesy of Sarah Morey.

Coming back to Marian was something Morrissey has always wanted to do since graduating. Performing and teaching were only the beginning. Many have suggested this is her perfect role. Even though some say you can’t go home again, you can, as that is where you belong.

Read more about Marian’s Select Women’s Choir here!

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