A couple of weekends ago I went on my first Choraleers mini-tour since my return from Spain. I wasn’t exactly sure how the trip would be, since I’m still getting to know the freshmen in the group (who are wonderful, by the way) and was, *cough*, less than certain of all my notes. On Saturday afternoon, we embarked on our drive to August, Georgia, where we rehearsed at a couple of different churches and were treated to dinner by one of the host churches.
Next, we were assigned our roommates and families for our home-stays—one of the best parts of Choraleers mini-tours. Every home-stay has been different for me, and I’ve actually ended up in a couple of mansions (no, I’m not kidding—if ten girls all have their own bedrooms, the home qualifies as a mansion) during past trips. Whatever the size of the house, though, it’s always fun to get to know different people from the congregations of the churches where we’re singing. During this most recent trip, I had the pleasure of staying with an Erskine alumna and her sweet family. We enjoyed talking about all kinds of topics over a plate of delicious cookies, but when we landed on the subject of Erskine—which involved our friend’s reminiscences about her time as a Choraleer—we just couldn’t stop talking. We had such fun–even getting to flip through old Erskine yearbooks together– that it was quite late before my fellow Choraleer and I finally realized that we’d better head to bed if we were going to be ready for our early morning performance! Despite our less-than-optimal amount of sleep, our Sunday performances—two in the morning and one in the evening—went well, and the trip in general was great fun.
Being in Choraleers has been one of my absolute favorite parts of my experience at Erskine. Honestly, I didn’t realized how much I’d missed singing with the amazing group that makes up the “Choraleer family” until I came back from Spain and felt a though a vital part of my life that had been missing was suddenly restored. What a joy it is to sing—especially once you know the notes—and what a blessing it is to be able to sing to God’s glory with good friends! We also have an amazing new director this semester, Dr. Nabholz. It’s been a lot of fun learning his directing style and seeing the musical effects of the techniques he’s teaching us.
Speaking of which, I was incredibly excited recently when, in preparation for our Spring Break tour to Washington, D.C., Dr. Nabholz had us split up into mixed formation during rehearsal. This mixing of the sections resulted in my being flanked by a tenor and a bass, with a soprano directly behind me. Wow, was it amazing to hear the way all the parts meld together! It’s one thing to be in one’s own section, with a somewhat foggy idea of what each other part sounds like—but to hear the subtle contours of each other musical line? That transforms a “piece” into true music. Of course, I may, *cough*, have noted—no pun intended—that I perhaps don’t know all my notes as well as I ought. Gone is the wiggle room of being able to listen the person next to you when you’re no longer in sections. Which means someone will be frequenting the practice rooms quite a bit between now and our departure for tour. D.C., here we come!