The a capella choir, directed by Prof. Thomas Holm, will be touring around Iowa to perform and present workshops to local high schools this weekend. Stops include Fort Dodge, Atlantic and Alta, with a closing concert here in Orange City on Friday, April 12. The concert itself runs for 75 minutes and includes faith-based songs.
“This concert program will provide a rich journey for the audience,” Holm said. “It includes much variety in style and language while exploring some complex human experiences.”
Choir members Jason Van Dyke, Eric Wasson and Schuyler Sterk all agreed that one of their favorite experiences on tour was building relationships, both with the guests they visited and with the other members of the choir. Additionally, they reminisced about the memories made last year when the choir went to Seattle on tour.
Overall, the students have been able to make memories together while learning about the people they perform for.
The choir has been working on some of their concert pieces all year but have honed in on perfecting the pieces in the past few months.
Van Dyke’s favorite piece is “The Seal Lullaby” by Eric Whitacre.
“I love this piece because of its gentle, flowing melodies,” he said.
Wasson said his favorite is “Only in Sleep” because of its soaring soprano solo. Sterk has a few favorites but most highly recommends “Let My Love Be Heard” by Jake Runestad.
“It has this really cool section in the middle that sounds like a chorus of angels and grows in volume until we end on a fortissimo chord that never resolves,” Sterk said.
In between concerts, the choir will be hosting high school workshops, singing for the students and sometimes with the students —even performing alongside the high schoolers. Holm will also take some time to work with them on the pieces they’re producing.
“I enjoy giving high school students an opportunity to see a college choir because that was never really an opportunity for me while I was in high school,” Van Dyke said. “And I do appreciate a great choir.”
For these three choir members, there are many highlights and rewards that stand out while preparing for a choir tour. Each of the students spoke to seeing their hard work pay off and being proud of their fellow choir members while also spending quality time with other Northwestern students.
“The music is great, but the best parts usually are the non-musical moments of genuine affection and fun with friends, and that’s what makes choir and choir tour so awesome to me,” Wasson said.
Van Dyke was able to enjoy watching the choir grow from a TA position.
“Not only do I care about the choir members as part of my choir family,” Van Dyke said, “but I am also very proud of them for the work they have put in.”
The NW family and surrounding communities will have the opportunity to hear the choir’s concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12 in Christ Chapel.