By Macy Gates (Alpha Chi, Butler University), Marketing and Communications Intern
February is MacDowell Month. A month dedicated to celebrating Alpha Chi Omega’s musical heritage. This MacDowell Month, we’re celebrating one of our members who is not only a patron, but a role model in the arts.
Stephanie McCranie (Gamma Chi, Stetson University) has experienced a lot of success in her career. She is an opera singer who has toured internationally with her group, Klassika. Last summer her group spent three weeks in South Africa, where Stephanie explained she had fun learning about different cultures and meeting other artists. While Stephanie has had a career filled with many sold out performances, international tours and various teaching positions, she accredits a lot of her success to the women of Alpha Chi Omega.
While at Stetson University, Stephanie spent time learning about all her opportunities when she was a collegian. She says that looking around first semester, she saw many other music majors who were involved in Alpha Chi Omega. From the beginning she learned that Alpha Chi Omega celebrated its heritage as musicians, and the values that she saw radiate off other Alpha Chi’s drew her to this sisterhood.
Once joining Alpha Chi Omega, Stephanie instantly felt the support of her sisters. Her performances were always packed with a crowd of Alpha Chis, her biggest cheerleaders. Learning to navigate the music industry is difficult, but Stephanie said, “When I didn’t believe in myself, they picked me up.”
Stephanie says that she still feels that support today. As just one example, one of her sisters and lifelong friends traveled to see her perform in Carmen, one of the most famous opera’s ever written, this month.
A true lover of the arts, Stephanie continues to explore them herself. She views the arts as a way to express ourselves. “Music can touch people and have impressions that we don’t know any other way to do it,” she explains.
Stephanie feels very passionately about making music accessible and believes that everyone should have the opportunity to experience various outlets of art. One way she likes to do this is by teaching. Stephanie started an opera program at Texas A&M University. Today Texas A&M has a full opera program with two full productions, thanks Stephanie’s fearless passion.
A line of the symphony reads, “To strike on the lyre of the universe only the notes of happiness, of joy, of peace.” This line has always meant a lot to Stephanie. She says, “It’s our job to lift one another up, not just as Alpha Chis, but as women and people in general. There is so much negativity and there is so much harshness in the world that I think it’s really our calling to be that light and be the people that support one another and lift one another up.”
As Alpha Chi Omegas, we celebrate the arts and our Founders’ musical heritage in February. MacDowell Month is the perfect reason to recognize our inspiring sisters, like Stephanie, who are changing the world through the arts.