The Mysterious Mezzo of Hill Hall
By Robin Lee Mozer (Class of 2001)
It's 2AM and you've been in the music building since just after dinner, cramming for juries and trying to nail that keyboard harmony homework. There are exactly two other people in the building with you—one is downstairs a practice room by the snack machines, the other is in the computer lab. Suddenly, you hear a third person—a mezzo, you think—singing somewhere else in the building. You can't possibly practice your German lieder anymore, so you wander down the hall to find this other person. They're probably cramming for juries, too. Maybe they'll want to stop and make a late night run to Waffle House. The voice sounds like its coming from the stairwell—you open the door to check, and the voice stops. “Hello?” you call down the stairs. “Anyone there?”
There were quite a few music majors who thought we had a mezzo haunting the stairwells for a while. Since the music building is one of the few 24-hour buildings on campus, we'd be down there at all hours and, occasionally, you'd hear someone practicing. That late at night, you usually went to find out who it was so you could chat. But no one ever found the Mysterious Mezzo. And it wasn't any of my compatriots in the program; you get to know each other's voices after a while. Besides, a real person can't disappear.
The voice seems to come primarily from the bottom floor of Hill—where the practice rooms are—but you can hear her from the main floor, hence why I always went looking for her in the stairwells. Kirstin Anderson (class of 2002), who preferred to cram for juries in the basement practice rooms as opposed to the upstairs classrooms, would hear a voice coming from a far practice room down the hall. Anderson would go to see who it was and no one would be there. Frequently, she would then hear the same voice coming from a different location a little while later.
I've asked around the music faculty, but since they all seem to leave the music building at reasonable hours, I haven't found a faculty member who's heard her. Lester Siegel did say, though, that if the Mysterious Mezzo has good intonation, he'll sign her up for Concert Choir.