Cornerstone University’s chorale offers students an opportunity to travel both nationally and internationally during their four years in the ensemble. This spring they were able to use their gifts in Chicago and sing at a variety of locations.
The chorale, a select choir open to full-time students by audition, started its three day Chicago tour on March 14 at Illiana Christian high school in Lansing, Ill., where 600 students gathered for the combined chapel services.
From there the group traveled North to Christ Church in Lake Forest, Ill. to perform. They performed six times in one weekend.
“Musically one of the goals is to develop them vocally to sing that amount of music in that amount of time with vocal health and stamina,” said Kent Walters, director of chorale, said of the weekend performances.
The choir’s travel tours are on a four-year rotation, consisting of one international tour, one regional tour and two weekend tours in the Midwest region.
Walters believes that their travel experiences help students grow both musically and spiritually as they experience cultures different than their own.
The chorale has traveled to Europe, Florida, Detroit, and is planning a trip to the East Coast during spring break in 2015.
“We’ve seen benefits musically, socially and spiritually,” Walters said of the traveling experiences. “I consider it an important part of their music education.”
The group was able to learn and present a variety of music styles.
“We chose genres from across time periods for a fully balanced concert program that an audience will appreciate,” Walters said.
Walters prepared devotionals and prayer time to help students interact with each other and prioritize spiritual development along with musical development. Like each trip, they had a theme verse to memorize, and the group prayed together before every concert.
“That’s when I often see the spiritual life of the students exhibited,” Walters said, “One night, without my prompting, someone prayed a verse of scripture and it became a collage of scripture being spoken.”
Walters also incorporated student testimonies as part of the vocal performances and sees an increase in maturity when they return from the trips.
“There is a confidence because they have been through the fire of performance and called higher in responsibility and maturity,” Walters said. “I treat them like college professionals and they act like college professionals.”
For more information about Cornerstone University’s music ensembles, visit: https://www.cornerstone.edu/music-ensembles