Choir Tour: From Iowa to California

Hannah DeVries, Staff Writer

Dordt’s very own Concert Choir traveled across the U.S.  during Spring Break, successfully showing off their skill in performances to a wide range of audiences and venues.

Fifty upperclassmen make up the Concert Choir and their ability to perform a variety of styles and genres is what makes them stand out from other Dordt choirs. Each tour is different, and this year the choir traveled and performed in Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

The choir traveled west, giving 15 performances, nine of which were full concerts, five were at school assemblies, and one of which was at a church service. From the beginning of the trip to the end they traveled a total of 5,140 miles.

Having conducted the choir since 1994, Dr. Benjamin Kornelis once again led the choir across the Southwest.

“The tours present an opportunity to hone and perfect our performances to a very high level of precision, as well as instruct our students what it takes to present the same program repeatedly to different audiences in different venues with (sometimes very!) different acoustics,” Kornelis said.

Alena Schuesseler, an English Writing major, is one of the talented fifty who performed across the Southwest. “I was thrilled to go on the trip,” she said. “I got to know so many people I just hadn’t known very well before the tour…[and] what I discovered [along the way] was a beautiful landscape and hugely hospitable people.”

The pieces performed by the choir were as diverse as the locations they were performed in. At their Tour Homecoming Concert on March 23, the choir’s performance pieces ranged from Charles Hubert Hastings Parry’s “I Was Glad,” Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “The Old Hundredth Psalm Tune,” and Beethoven’s “Hallelujah” from The Mount of Olives.

“These tours are [also] great when we get into high schools and show prospective students the high level of quality performance that Dordt is able to present,” Kornelis said. “They see that we do good stuff and do it very well.”

“It was a great experience,” Schuessler added. “The kind that I feel like everyone needs at least once in their college career.”

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