Jaclyn Vander Waal—Staff Writer
Nearly a year has passed since Dordt University’s Concert Choir was told to pack up and return home from New York in the middle of their 2020 tour.
That has not stopped them from singing, however. They have continued to make music—only now they are masked and socially distanced.
Originally, the ensemble planned to tour Europe at the end of the 2020-21 school year. Although the trip was cancelled many months ago as a result of COVID-19, the Concert Choir and Chamber Orchestra recently scheduled a “Tiny Tour” for Thursday and Friday, March 18-19. Their stops will include four regional Christian high schools: Western Christian in Hull, Iowa; Sioux Falls Christian in Sioux Falls, S.D.; Mitchell Christian in Mitchell, S.D.; and Southwest Minnesota Christian in Edgerton, Minn.
Selena Munson, senior business administration major, an alto in the choir, was disappointed that last year’s trip ended when it did. She compared it to a bad dream that she hoped she would wake up from. Nevertheless, she is optimistic this small-scale tour will provide opportunities to bond with the others in the choir.
“My favorite aspect of touring is how well you get to know other members,” Munson said. “Since you are spending all day everyday with these people in very close proximity, it’s surprising how fast some friendships form.”
Cody Speh, senior engineering major, and a bass in the choir, shared similar sentiments. He is looking forward to spending a bit of time outside of class to get to know the new members of the choir better. In typical years, the choir holds a weekend retreat where choir members spend time singing, playing bonding games, and eating. This year, COVID-19 prevented that.
As for COVID-19 guidelines, the choir and orchestra will take as many precautions as possible. They will wear masks while traveling on the bus and limit two people to each hotel room.
Yet, these safeguards do not faze Annabelle Hosmer, freshman social work major and a cello player in the orchestra.
“I was very excited to see the email regarding the ‘Tiny Tour,’” Hosmer said. “It showed a glimpse of normalcy for this year and a chance to spend time with my orchestra group.”
Speh thinks this experience could have a great impact on the students he will be singing for.
“Hopefully, we can show these schools how we can still have a choir and be united even with six feet between us,” Speh said.
Hosmer hopes this experience will encourage students to become involved with music and learn a bit more about orchestras.
“Knowing the difference between a viola and a violin could be the winning trivia question someday—you never know,” Hosmer said.