Eric Rowe – Staff Writer
The B. J. Haan auditorium grew quiet as the final notes of “Praise to the Lord”rang silent. Ending concerts with this piece is a tradition for Dordt’s concert choir and a fitting end for their 2014 tour homecoming concert. The choir’s spring tour included 11 performances at churches in Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Ontario.
From March 6-16, the 52 members of the choir traveled and stayed at homes of hosts in the area in which they performed. Touring enables Dordt to share the blessing of music with people beyond the campus.
The tour concert was divided into nine sections with songs arranged by themes. One section included songs about the assurance of God’s presence, such as “I know my Redeemer Lives”and “Take my Hand, Precious Lord.”
One of the goals of the concert choir is to perform choral literature in a variety of styles and genres. They performed three love songs from around the world. “Dúlamán” is an Irish folk song in Gaelic, “Catania” is Sicilian and “Balleilakka” is from the Tamil film, Sivaji, from India.
Dordt freshman, Rachel Blom, enjoyed “Balleilakka” the best.
“It was catchy, the solos were amazing and it was funny,” Blom said.
Another group of songs was about the weather. The choir sang a British BBC weather report, which garnered giggles from the crowd, before exploring a more somber mood with “Stormy Weather” and ending with the hope of Dolly Parton’s “Light of a Clear Blue Morning.”
Near the end of the concerts on tour, Dr. Benjamin Kornelis, conductor of the concert choir, would invite any alumni in the audience to stand and join in singing the Dordt College Alma Mater. This homecoming concert was no different. The entire audience stood and sang.
While they were not performing, members of the choir had the opportunity to get to know each other very well.
“There are only a few groups of people I can stand 12 days in a bus with,” junior concert choir member Sam De Groot said. “And I would be willing to do it again with these 52 people.”
Dordt’s concert choir shares their joy of music with audiences everywhere they go, whether they ar
e singing traditional choral pieces, Dolly Parton songs or pieces sung in Latin, German, Gaelic or Sicilian.
The concert choir holds recognition whether traveling or at home and draws an appreciative audience.
“I came to support the choir,” Blom said. “I knew they would be amazing, and they were.”