The Sound of ESCAPE

On beautiful, sunny days, ESCAPE takes the music outside!

On beautiful, sunny days, ESCAPE takes the music outside!

On ESCAPE, there’s nothing like singing at the top of your lungs to Earth, Wind, & Fire and the Backstreet Boys; to The Beatles and Britney Spears; to John Denver and Taylor Swift. In fact, one of the most beloved and important parts of ESCAPE is our music. On every overnight, we break into several energetic, guitar-led sing-alongs. We are blessed with several talented guitarists on ESCAPE, including one resident student “rock star” who comes on every overnight.

Music is the first way we encourage ESCAPEes to become their most authentic selves. Our musical interludes give ESCAPEes a chance to let down their guards and just enjoy each others’ company through communal, not-quite-in-tune singing. And according to our participants’ feedback, students consistently describe the singing as one of their favorite parts of the retreat.

Reflection continues to be at the very heart of ESCAPE, which our musical reflections promote. Our leaders share powerful stories in a series of talks. Afterwards, we ask leaders to choose a song to which our ESCAPEes can lie back and reflect. This song can be anything: country, pop, even metal. We just ask that the song be one that has meaning to our speakers. For our ESCAPEes, the musical reflection gives them a chance to absorb the personal reflections our leaders just shared, which are so powerful and demand so much bravery from our leaders. We believe the combination of a powerful talk with powerful music stirs up many emotions and prompts people to confront their choices, to ask themselves tough questions. How am I doing? What brings me joy? What doesn’t? And how do I deal with that moving forward?

So for us, music is much more than a fun jam session. It’s a chance to bond, to connect, to be ridiculous, and to be moved. Sometimes people are moved to tears, while at other times people are moved to stand up mid-song and start a spontaneous boy band dance (true story). No matter, we invite all first-years to experience for themselves the music of ESCAPE and find out what moves you.

Check out our ESCAPE Reflection Playlist! (new window)

ESCAPE Student Coordinators
Neal Chaudhuri, COL ’16
Kathleen Osea (new window), NHS ’16