Thursday, April 25, 2013

Seven cities, five days: University Chorale goes on spring tour

 by Camille Adams, A&E Writer

On their spring tour, Pacific Lutheran’s University Chorale sang through seven different cities and a variety of venues in five days. 

The choir left campus the afternoon of April 17 and set off first for Ellensburg, Wash. 

At Central Washington University (CWU), Chorale had the opportunity to perform for and listen to the CWU Chamber Choir. This musical exchange set the tone for the next day’s journey farther south in Washington, where the choir observed and sang for two high schools, Moses Lake and Walla Walla. “I really enjoy performing for high schools, because they are so enthusiastic about what we are doing here at PLU,” junior Chelsea Hills said.

On April 18, Chorale put on a concert at First Lutheran in Kennewick, Wash. for an excited group of PLU alumni and congregation members. Many of the attendees opened up their homes as “home stay hosts,” giving the singers a place to sleep for the night.

The following day, the choir departed for Idaho, arriving at Timberline High School in Boise for yet another exchange with an eager and talented group of young singers. Afterward, choir members had the opportunity to explore downtown Boise before returning to King Glory Lutheran Church to eat dinner and meet their new home stay hosts. 

That evening, Chorale had the special privilege to perform for the Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod at the Riverside Hotel in Boise. Chorale’s performance followed Thomas Krise’s first introduction to the Synod as the new president of PLU. 

The opportunity to meet, hear and speak with President Krise was very welcomed in the Synod,” said the Rev. Lee Kluth, PLU’s director of Congregation Relations. “Having the University Chorale there gave people from many congregations a glimpse of some of the people who are PLU.” 

Most students said they had a wonderful experience with their host stays throughout the trip, especially in Boise. The hosts themselves seemed likewise pleased with the experience, calling the singers “great ambassadors for the school,” Kluth said.

The next morning, the choir departed for Sun Valley, a resort town in Idaho, and had the afternoon off to go hiking, thrift shopping, exploring and a number of other activities. The day culminated in a concert at First Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood and another night of home stays.

On April 21, the last day of the whirlwind trip, the choir returned to Boise for a final exchange with Boise State University at the Velma Morrison Center for the Performing Arts. 

Chorale flew back to camps that evening and wrapped up the tour performances with a Homecoming Concert on Tuesday in Lagerquist Concert Hall. The choir performed their full one-hour set of tour music, including a piece composed by their conductor, Brian Galante.

The spring tour experience was a condensed time of bonding and performance for the choral ensemble and was a beneficial time for returner and first-year singers alike. “Going on tour with Chorale was really fun, because as a first year, I got to bond with others singers and spend a lot of time with people I don’t normally to get to talk to,” first-year Courtney Gould said. 

Chorale will perform a portion of their tour repertoire for the Commencement Concert at the end of May.