Abbie Storch, Eastern alumna (‘16), is already well on her way to “waking up the world.” After graduating with an English major and a music minor, she is now a master’s student in religion and literature at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.
“Essentially, the degree program is an interdisciplinary course of study that draws from classes in Yale Divinity School and the graduate English and comparative literature departments. It’s a perfect program for me,” Storch explains. “My interest in the intersection of religion and literature began during my study abroad in Oxford, where I spent an entire semester delving into the poetry and devotional writing of Gerard Manley Hopkins, a Roman Catholic priest and Victorian poet. I toyed around with the idea of pursuing a master’s or Ph.D. in English, but I decided on the master’s in religion and literature at Yale because the program allowed me to pursue studies in literature within the larger community of the Institute of Sacred Music.”
Along with taking diverse classes, including a course in Anglican history and theology, as well as a class in 20th-century British political literature, Storch also finds time to sing in a professional chamber choir, the Yale Schola Cantorum.
“Singing in Schola has been such an incredible experience,” she enthuses. “Most of the singers in the group are voice and conducting students at the Yale School of Music, and I feel really humbled to be singing such amazing choral works alongside them.” In addition to performing four to five concerts a semester at various locations in the Northeast, every spring, the choir tours internationally. This coming March, Schola will be touring India with the baroque orchestra of the Juilliard School, singing pieces composed by Indian and American composers written specifically for this tour.
“There are so many things I want to do,” Storch responds when asked what her future plans entail. She plans on getting licensed in massage therapy. She explains, “Many people have observed the epidemic of loneliness that afflicts contemporary society, and human touch is a way to counter that loneliness. I’ve been thinking a lot about my call to baptismal ministry–the ministry of all baptized believers–and I think that a large part of my call is to affirm the goodness of the bodies of others.”
She continues, elaborating on her more academic aspirations: “I’ve always said that I want to go into publishing, and that’s the simplest answer, I suppose. This summer, I worked for a literary review in Seattle, and I’m currently interning at the Yale University Press, which has given me a good idea of what it’s like to work in book publishing. But I also see myself doing the kind of work that Krista Tippett does on her radio show ‘On Being’–using the medium of language to ‘expose virtue,’ to explore the ways that individuals are living lives of truth. In short, I’m not certain what my publishing aspirations will lead to, but one thing that I know for sure is that in the publishing world, I want the message I communicate to be one of faith, hope and love.”