Archive | March, 2013

Morningside, We Sing Of You

9 Mar

After six long, fun filled days, we are home from tour! My last post was when we were in Algona, and I can honestly say that it got so much better from there! 

From Algona, we drove a long time to Peosta, about 10 minutes from Dubuque. We sang at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, and that church was beautiful. Since it was Adam’s home church, he gave his senior speech before we went out to perform. Let me tell you, there was not a dry eye in that room. Karen also gave her senior speech, and it moved a lot of us. Looking back at it, I think that moment was the breaking point, or the moment when we started to feel like an actual family. The tears carried over to the concert. We sang Grace Before Sleep and the line “here the hearth is wide and warm.” I heard sobs coming from every angle around me, plus my own. There was something moving about that song, and that concert in general. Our host home was wonderful; they were probably my favorite one we stayed at. Shout out to the Sullivan family for hosting our choir and to the Webber’s for letting us stay with you!

From Peosta, we began our journey back west to Charles City. Janiece Berkland, the woman who has done the backdrop for Christmas at Morningside for the past 10 years, asked us to come sing at her church. Bailee gave her speech beforehand, and again, not a dry eye. We seemed to be just a little closer as a choir during that performance. The audience was great, and the thrill of performing was always a good feeling. At the hotel, Joel gave his speech. No words seem accurate to describe the emotion in that room. I still can’t find words. 

Last but not least, we headed further west to Guthrie Center. We stopped in Des Moines for some lunch and shopping, and Kelsey and I met a Morningside alum at Cold Stone! She asked me if I was in town for the basketball tournament, to which I responded that our college choir was on tour. She then proceeded to sing the Morningside fight song! She told us that her husband was also an alum and was in the choir in the 70’s. How cool is that?! 

I was already feeling bittersweet about this concert. It was our last one, and I wasn’t really ready to be done with the tour. To be honest, I didn’t want to go back to classes and real life. This night was the night that I felt like we were truly a family. Scott gave his speech, and he really emphasized that. Scott, let me say that I’m glad that you stayed at Morningside this last year. Choir would not have been the same without you. We went up for our last performance, and tears were shed just like in Peosta.

Something I have always loved about music is that it moves people. It affects them in someway. I witnessed that firsthand last night. People were tearing up and smiling and letting the music hit them. Even though we had sung the same ten songs five nights before that, it still seemed fresh. It was beautiful. Shout out to the Kruse family for allowing us to sing at their church and to our house host, also a Morningside alum! 

I told Watson in Charles City that I had every intention of dropping choir after tour. I didn’t feel like I belonged to this group anymore. After the performances in Peosta and Guthrie Center, I realized that if I were to quit, it would be the worst decision I would ever make in my time at Morningside. I love singing too much to just give it all up. I don’t think my time as a member of College Choir is up yet. And when I look at it, we really are a family. This is the closest ensemble that I’m a part of; not even SWE or jazz band come close to this. Each one of us has something to offer to this group, and no one can take it away from us. Wearing that robe makes us part of a tradition of excellence that was started in 1894, when Morningside was founded. 

Seniors, I hope that we made your last choir tour memorable. I’m so glad that I got to know each of you, and each of you has taught me something. I want to say a special something to Joel, Adam, and Scott.

Joel, we’ve been in almost every single ensemble together for past two years. You’ve taught me to not get so angry when I screw up. You’ve shown me the beauty of hard work. Thank you. I’m so proud of who you’ve become even in the two years I’ve known you. You’re going to be great no matter what you do. 

Adam, we’ve been in a few groups together. You are quite the caring, understanding, amazing person. Your leadership skills are stellar. I want to be like you when I grow up. Thanks for giving me a second chance and for helping me find out who I am. Even if it wasn’t a direct thing, you still helped. Thank you. You’ve got so much to offer, and you’re going to go far.

Scott, what can I say about you? All-around, you’re a great guy, not to mention a talented vocalist. You’ve indirectly shown me how important it is to pick yourself up when you fall and to admit mistakes. Let’s be honest, I’ve made a ton of them. From you, I’ve gained the value of strength in myself. Thank you. I’m proud of how far you’ve come, and I can’t wait to see how far you go from here. You’re gonna go far, kid. 

“Morningside, we sing of you, for the love that we have known here.

Times of joy and learning too, and friendships we will have forever.

May we ever serve you heart and mind no matter where our paths may wind.

Always sound your name with pride.

Hold you dear, oh Morningside.”

 

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Tour Days 1 and 2: It’s Not Nothing, It’s Something.

4 Mar

Hello from the lovely city of Algona, Iowa! We’re having a snow day here! As most of you know, the College Choir is on our tour of Iowa. We’ve sung in three churches and a nursing home so far. A lot of singing has been done. I have to say, as much as I wanted to enjoy my spring break at home, I wouldn’t change it. And I couldn’t ask for a better group to be with.

Saturday was our first day, and we performed at Grace Lutheran Church in LeMars. Everyone there was so warm and welcoiming, and the food was delish! I’m looking forward to non cafeteria food over the rest of tour. The concert itself was great, a good first concert on tour. The only problem was that my feet went numb from my heels. I’m sure a lot of girls can say the same thing. After the concert, we went to our host homes. April, Ariel and I stayed with a younger couple that had the cutest little girl. She gave us three rules, and while I understand her reasoning, I thought it was rude. Her first rule was to be respectful. Really? But I’m not going to complain because they opened their house to us, and it was most appreciated. LeMars, you’re a good place.

Sunday morning we sang at Watson’s home church, St. John’s. The men’s chorus that he directs there sang with our choir guys. They did a phenomenal job! It was so cool to be able to do that for Mr. Watson, to sing in his church. His face was full of pride. After we sang there, we went back to Grace and sang in their service. Then we hit the open road! We ate at the Wild Rose casino in Emmetsburg. They were so great to be able to accomodate all of us. After being fed, we got back on the road and finished the drive to Algona. We were able to sing at the Good Samaritan nursing home here, and it was wonderful. I have always enjoyed singing for elderly nursing home people. They looked like they enjoyed it.

The church we performed at on Sunday night was First United Methodist. It was a beautiful church. This performance… I have no words for it. There was something about it that made it feel extra special. Maybe it was just me feeling all sentimental and stuff. Mistakes were made, I’m sure, but I can’t even remember them. While we were singing All That I Am, I teared up terribly. That song is just beautiful, and a reminder that all we are, have, love, and own comes from God. This choir, these opportunities to perform, the friendships made because of this group, it all comes from God. During the Morningside Hymn, I’ll admit I cried. I felt like a jerk because I’m not a senior, and we weren’t in my hometown, but there was something good about it. There was a connecting moment between all of us, and it was really something.

We were supposed to drive to Manchester today, but the roads just aren’t doable. So we are staying in Algona tonight, and we will head to Peosta tomorrow! From Peosta, we will go to Charles City, then to Guthrie Center, and then home! Here’s hoping that we will have clear roads for the rest of tour, and safe travels!