Waking up the final day is a challenge but one we all overcame. Meeting back at the beautiful cathedral in Delphos we gathered in the cafeteria of the school next door. We talked about our home stays and the concert the night before. One of the members was celebrating her birthday and her home stay group had been treated to a wonderful breakfast that morning. She talked about how much the kindness her host had shown her had affected her and that there is no place she would rather be on her birthday. After hearing our schedule for the day, we boarded the coach once more and began our journey to Friendship Village in Columbus. After some good naps on the coach, we arrived. We lined up and went into a room where an audience was ready for us to perform.
The audience was very eager to hear us sing, and their eagerness fueled us despite our fatigue. The same connection we found at Good Shepherd appeared with the residents of Friendship Village. It was clear that our music brought joy to those in the audience and seeing that joy filled our hearts with our own joy.
After the concert, we all talked with different members of the audience and heard their stories. We heard stories from their youth, met a couple who had been together for over sixty years and how music had been a large part of that. We met people who grew up in places near where we had grown up.
Then Mr. Snyder walked up to a man who seemed afraid to talk. He knelt down to talk to him and after a bit the man said, “With young people like that, there is hope for the future.” Hearing this later, we were all blown away by the impact we had made on this man. Gathering for lunch we talked, laughed, and tried not to think about how near the end of tour was. We exchanged stories we had heard from the residents, and with each new one we began to understand a little more of our true impact we make on those who hear our music.
We then geared up for our final stop of the tour, Roscoe United Methodist Church of Coshocton, Ohio, where the Chorale has always been more than welcome. We prepared such as we normally would, except this time the passions and emotions were overflowing before our concert; as we knew this would be the last time we sing together as the 20th Edition of the Cardinal Chorale. The feelings after the final concert are always on a broad scale. Many are crying, whether because it is their last year and they are sad to have reached the end. Or because the music just touched them in a way it never had before. For some it is simply because others around them were crying. Despite the tears, we still say our goodbyes and give our final hugs. The final words we exchange as we depart are often the purest thoughts we are capable of producing.
After five days of music together on tour, we are all forever changed. Each of us has grown in some way and because of that, we leave as different people than when we arrived. For when a group gathers for a cause as pure as making music and gives their whole being to do it, they imprint on each other’s hearts, spirits, and minds. We came to sing, but along the way, we made an impact. Not only did we touch the hearts of those in the audience, we touched each other’s as well. The Cardinal Chorale is more than just the forty-five singers who toured Ohio; it is a source of hope. There have been twenty different Cardinal Chorales and though it changes some every year, that one truth has remained constant.
On the outside, the purpose of our tour appears simple, to sing in different venues across Ohio; but experiencing tour, the truth is far more than that. We set out to make a difference, and music was the medium through which we could. That is the real purpose of the Cardinal Chorale.
Thank you to all who made this tour possible—whether it was our parents who allowed us to have this opportunity, our selfless staff who are willing to help at every call, those hosting in the varies places we visited, those who provided food, everyone who attended our concerts, and even those who kept us in their thoughts throughout this tour. Until we’re together again, “May God hold you in the palm of his hand…”
The 2015 Chorale tour blog was written by Ben and Hannah. Photographs were supplied by McKayla.
Thank you to all that have helped make this online publication a success!