This one by our current President, Emily B.
This is my fourth and final year in the UND Concert Choir, and I’ve known ever since that first day as a freshman in the Alto I section that it would be a life-changing experience. What I didn’t know then was that part of that experience would be traveling to Europe to perform concerts, do clinics, live with Dutch families, and have the time of my life with some of my best friends. Individually, every member of this choir (including myself) will walk away with enough memories, inside jokes, and digital photos to last a lifetime. But I believe that it is the choir as a whole that has been changed the most.
Trust is a necessary quality in any choral ensemble, and this year, I feel like I have finally fully come to understand just how crucial it is that each and every member of the ensemble trusts themselves, each other, and the director in rehearsal and performance. Even though we have always put this into practice, going on tour has brought the ensemble to rely on each other more than ever. Traveling in a foreign country where every street sign, menu, and newspaper is in another language is challenging enough. Then throw in performing in unfamiliar spaces with limited rehearsal time and unpredictable audiences, not to mention the extensive time we spent with two different clinicians tearing apart our repertoire mid-tour. Through it all, we still had to work together to present excellent concerts.
With all these factors and challenges thrown at us, the ensemble had no choice but to completely trust each other. And even though sometimes it felt a bit like free-falling off a cliff, what resulted were some of our most incredible and most musical performances as a choir to date. We worked together as vocalists to a new extent, and as an ensemble, we were finally able to present not only a technically good concert, but a musically great one, too. We came to Europe with a program we could be confidant and proud of, but we leave Europe as better musicians and a better ensemble.
Thanks Emily. Great post.