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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