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Alumni Spotlight: Carol Parshall and Peter Parshall

October 10, 2018

Parshalls

Parshalls
Photo: The Parshalls with Professor Kathy Saltzman Romey and the University Singers. 

On September 29, 1958, Carol Parshall (née Jacobi) and Peter Parshall met while auditioning for the U of M Chamber Singers (Walter Collins, director). For these auditions, students were divided into quartets to sing. Peter and Carol were assigned to the same quartet. They both made it into the choir, and the rest is history.

They recently returned to Ferguson Hall (60 years later), on September 28, to observe the University Singers in rehearsal, tour the School of Music, and share their story with current U of M choral students. 

Students in the University Singers surprised the couple with a performance of John Bennett’s “Let go, why do you stay me?”, the madrigal the Parshalls sang for their audition in 1958.

The Parshall's musical meeting inspired graduate conducting student Kira Winter, "They are a picture of what a lifelong love of music-making can do. They said that their love of music is what keeps them going."

The Parshalls jokingly advised students to “keep your eyes open, because you never know when your future spouse is sitting right next to you!”

The Parshalls continued singing together nationally and internationally for almost 50 more years. They sang with such esteemed groups as the Bach Chamber Chorale, the Indiana University Pro Arte (Fiora Contino, director), the Queens College Vocal Ensemble (Paul Maynard, director), and the University of Wisconsin Madrigal Singers (William Weinert, director). They also gave concerts in Eisenstadt, Austria; Sopron, Hungary; Bratislava Slovakia; and Sunday Morning Mass in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria.

At the close of their meeting with the University Singers, Carol addressed the students, "Whether you are a music major or not, music will open doors for you and enrich your life. Keep an open mind because you never know where your love of singing will take you." 

Carol Parshall graduated in 1960 with a BA in Early Childhood Development. Peter Parshall graduated in 1966 with an MA in Comparative Literature. 

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Photo: The Parshalls with Professor Kathy Saltzman Romey and the University Singers.