Johann Sebastian Bach once wrote that “the aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” Northwestern’s A cappella Choir achieved both of these objectives on their recent tour to Minnesota.
Over the weekend of March 30 through April 2, they performed at churches in Marshall, Harmony and Preston, Minn. They also shared the gift of music with patients and their families at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. On April 7, they will be singing selections from their tour repertoire for the NW community in Christ Chapel at 7:30 p.m.
Junior Jordan Stone is looking forward to sharing what she and the rest of the A cappella Choir have been working on over the last several months.
“Our choir this year has a very rich, warm tone to it,” Stone said. “We will be singing several pieces that really showcase that tone and offer praise to God.”
The program is divided into four separate sections, each showcasing a different style of music as well as the works of traditional and contemporary choral composers. A section of the program that promises to be especially noteworthy is a series of songs about tragedy and loss. Although the overall message of these songs is sorrowful, Stone believes the stories they tell will be very meaningful for the audience.
“We’re singing a song called ‘Good Night, Dear Heart’ which is a response to a child dying,” Stone said. “We are also singing ‘Requiem’ which is dedicated to victims of natural disaster. By singing these songs, we get the chance to tell a story for people who no longer have a voice. You can’t help but feel the emotions of the piece as you are singing.”
Director Jaeeun Kim reflected that the concert’s repertoire touched several hearts while the choir was on tour.
“When we performed at Mayo Clinic, there were not many people in the audience, but the concert was broadcast to the patients’ rooms,” Kim said. “The last piece we sang certainly touched the audience members that were present. At the end of the concert, two people were seated and weeping, most likely because they related to the personal tragedy represented in these songs. The choir students prayed with them and it was truly beautiful to form that emotional connection with our audience.”
At the concert, the choir will also be presenting a number of traditional spirituals, including the A cappella Choir’s beloved rendition of “Beautiful Savior.” Kim said alumni will be invited to join in singing “Beautiful Savior” during the concert.
Kim knows that this final concert will be bitter-sweet because it will be one of the final performances she shares with the choir before Dr. Thomas Holm’s return from sabbatical.
“Before coming to NW, I had only worked with music majors, so it has been wonderful to work with students from a variety of majors,” Kim said. “They all love music and it is such a joy to be able to praise God together through song.”