AU Chorale spent spring break on tour, this year throughout the Midwest and U.S. South. The performance stops included Atlanta, Georgia; Lake Wales, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; Brunswick, Georgia; Saint Simons Island, Georgia; Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and Cincinnati, Ohio. The University Chorale also performed a concert on campus at the tail end of the tour.
Chorale’s spring break tour gives the singers and students a chance to perform and travel, but also to develop community. Junior music education major Julianne Boyd, a soprano, thinks that tour helps the group become closer.
“By the end of tour, we are definitely a family,” Boyd said. “Nothing brings you closer to people than sharing a bus for 10 days. We also spent almost every night in host homes with different people each time. One of my favorite parts of tour and community building is our pre-concert devotions. We’re free to share whatever’s on our hearts and minds whether it is about the music, tour or God.”
The tour provided the opportunity for the university singers to share music with people in vastly different locales than the students are used to, mainly the U.S. South.
“We get to minister to people with our music all over the country,” Boyd said. “Every night we sang in a new space, and you never know what the sound will be. Chorale was able to sing at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist [in Savannah, Georgia], which was truly a blessing.”
A unique aspect of Chorale tour is the fact that most nights are spent not in hotel rooms, but in host homes throughout the different stops of the tour. Places are arranged for the students to dine and sleep at the homes of volunteer families. The tradition brings the opportunity to have fellowship with people of different geographic areas. These host homes brought great joy and hospitality for chorale members.
“This year’s host home stories were ridiculously funny,” Boyd said. “After we load the bus in the morning to head to our next concert, we have open mic time on the bus for anyone who wants to share about their host home. We have a fun, outgoing group this year, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Blake Clatterbuck, a junior management and music major, enjoyed getting to sing in “such amazing places.” Like Boyd, he enjoyed performing in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Clatterbuck also enjoyed staying with the host families and getting to grow closer with Chorale as a family.
His favorite song to perform on tour was “Were You There,” by Jay Rouse. Clatterbuck believes that “tour is valuable for young music professionals because it gives us a chance to dig deep into fantastic music and make music with other amazing students,” he said. “From a Christian perspective, tour is great at giving us all a chance to show God’s love and His word, through music.”
Members of Chorale spent a day at Disney World and had the opportunity to see a former Chorale member, AU alumnus Cameron Mason, who currently works as a Walt Disney World entertainer.
“It was my first time being at Disney,” said Kathryn Hochstetler, a sophomore music education major. “I didn’t really know what it was going to be like, but I ended up loving it. My favorite part was either riding Space Mountain or meeting Rapunzel, both of which I will never forget.”
Former Chorale member Kristi Swiger was able to stop by the Savannah, Georgia performance at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. These reunions provided happy memories for former and current Chorale members.
The chance to bond and travel on tour comes each spring break for Chorale members, but the unique experiences of each passing year live on in photos and memories.