The past few days have been laden with sadness for many in the greater Wesleyan community. Over the weekend, news of the passing of Claire Randall ’12 came to us and the rest of the Wesleyan community. Claire lost her life in an act of gun violence last Thursday. Rather than repost details of her death, we wanted to include a few things to remember her by.
Claire grew up in Rhode Island where she attended Mt. Hope High School. She was valedictorian of her high school class and graduated from Wesleyan with a major in Music, focusing in ethnomusicology and jazz studies. At Wes, she was a member of New Group and she starred in a mockumentary web series called WANNABES. During her time at Wes, she was also part of a 14-piece band called Mad Wow. After graduation, she joined alumni artists Jess Best [’14] and Trot Fox as a vocalist. She also worked in New York City for Resonant Motion, a nonprofit that focused on facilitating the creation of music that “has a profound capacity to inspire people towards personal growth, strength and transformation and to and educate people about issues important to their world.”
Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of knowing Claire, but I truly wish I had. Here are a few things Claire gave to the world in her short time here:
Claire’s rendition of the Gershwin track “Embraceable You” from her Bandcamp:
And an otherworldly performance by Claire as part of the lead vocalist of Trot Fox:
Here is Claire singing “Do You Realize?” live at the Cobra Club in Brooklyn:
Claire performing with Mad Wow in 2010:
Here’s Claire singing “You’ve Got a Friend” at Gabe Gordon ’11‘s senior thesis concert:
Claire performing “Don’t Lie” with New Group in 2010:
And, a video of the musical parade that followed Mad Wow’s last concert at Wesleyan:
Claire performing Trot Fox‘s “Heart of Gold” (submitted by Jared Paul ’11):
Garden Line, an EP from one of Claire’s lesser-known bands, Capers (submitted by Jared Paul ’11):
From David Thompson ’11:
Claire was a founding member of Music Haus from 2009-2010. We all either loved her or were in love with her. When you were with Claire, everything became suddenly bathed in a gentle, loving light. There was no one more kind. There was also no one more funny or sick. This was our winter family photo in 2009.
Claire sang lead at Music Haus’s first album concert, where they performed Arcade Fire’s Funeral in Memorial Chapel. Here is a video of her singing “In the Backseat” shot by Zach Valenti ’12 (submitted by David Thompson ’11):
From Michelle Paul ’04, who worked with Claire at Patron Technology and posted about her experience working with Claire:
Claire brought incredible focus and enthusiasm to her work, and she embodied the spirit of our company — she was a talented and successful musician, creating and performing work with multiple bands and groups, while also being fully devoted to her job and committed to helping our clients be successful.
I wanted to share part of an email from one client that worked with Claire, as a way of demonstrating even in this tiny way how much good she brought to the world — here’s the closing: “I just wanted you to know that the energy and passion you poured into the [certification] class made a major impact on me, and – by extension – on my organization.”
Claire was a world class vocalist, and an all around awesome member of the Wesleyan community. Sending much love to all who knew Claire during her time at Wesleyan, and my thoughts are with her family in the wake of this unspeakable tragedy. The Wesleyan community lost a truly great member this week.
If you have memories of Claire and would like us to share them—be they photos, anecdotes, quotes, anything—please send an email to staff[at]wesleying[dot]org and we will update this post with anything you share.
I saw her performance with the New Group in my Freshman year. She was truly talented. My heart goes to her and her family.
I will never forget that performance in the Chapel. There better be music in heaven.
Thank you for posting this tribute, instead of another repetition of what happened. While I did not know her well, I did have the opportunity to sing with her informally and met her during orientation as a first year student (she was several years older).
She was, as you said, a world class vocalist. Thank you for sharing her voice with us instead of more coverage of the terrible act that took it from us.