The weekend we had been waiting for since December had finally come. As the members of the Chorale filed into the Coshocton Presbyterian Church for our day-long rehearsal, we greeted various friends and staff members we hadn’t seen in a while. We were all excited to get this weekend together started so that we could have a short break from our everyday hassles.
Once everyone arrived, we warmed up our voices for the long day of singing ahead. We sang a few songs in a full rehearsal together and then split off into ladies and men’s sectional rehearsals. When snack time came around in mid-afternoon, many of us were pretty hungry and took our time enjoying the treats before then splitting off again into part rehearsals. These rehearsals are imperative because they allow us to better learn our parts for when we sing as a full group. After finishing part rehearsals, it was time for our first full rehearsal on the risers. Here we were able to listen to the soloists and practice their pieces with them. The ladies also enjoyed dancing and singing along (quietly) with the guys as they sang “The Longest Time” and later having the guys join in dancing along to “Breaking Up is Hard To Do.”
Finally, dinner time! We ate our dinner with our opera from the summer’s workshop and caught up with each other on what was new with school or other exciting things going on. The meal prepared for us was delicious, and we enjoyed it while answering the “would you rather” questions on our tables, such as, “would you rather give up eating meat or vegetables?” I think the answer is clear.
One last rehearsal after dinner capped off our day of singing and we were then able to spend an hour of free time together. Many of us played games, talked, or simply relaxed on the floor. We were even able to meet Haley Evans’ adorable new puppy, Betty!
All too soon it was time to gather around in our first Chorale circle of the weekend and share some of our hopes for the concert and the future of the Chorale. We finished by singing the traditional “Song of Farewell” before heading off. Many of us who live in the county headed back to our own homes, while others from out of the area stayed with another member of the choir or member of the church. Either way, it was time to rest up for the big day ahead!
Day two of the Cardinal Chorale’s reunion began bright and early. Singers woke up at their homes, ate breakfast, and put on their red Cardinal Chorale polos once again. We gathered at 9:00 am to rehearse the hymns and anthems for today’s church service. Afterward, we were treated to amazing glazed donuts.
During the service, guest preacher Christopher Andrews spoke of “playing church vs. playing Jesus.” The general message was to live as if you are like God, rather than thinking you are better than others for going to church. Throughout the service, churchgoers were wowed by “Kittery,” “I’m Goin’ Up a Yonder,” and “The Irish Blessing.” The Chorale also joined the Presbyterian Church’s Chancel Choir and Carol Choir to sing an extraordinary ending theme to the service.
Soon, it was time for lunch! Mr. and Mrs. Jobes and others provided us with excellent pasta, breadsticks, salad, deserts, and love. I think the Chorale really meant it when we serenaded them with “Thank you Very Much.”
We then worked through problem areas in each of our songs, laughed, and got mentally prepared for the concert. Some of us took the initiative of applying for the 23rd Edition of the Cardinal Chorale. [If anyone reading this is interested in applying, find “Get Involved” and click on “Chorale application” at the top of the page, or visit www.thecardinalchorale.com/apply]The 22nd Edition took the stage for their 2017 reunion concert. The sanctuary was nearly full with family, friends, Chorale supporters, a featured act: The Coshocton Community Choir. The Community Choir has sponsored the Chorale’s reunions for years, so we were pleased to sing with them and have them in the audience.
It is hard to describe the feeling of performing with the Cardinal Chorale. Nothing can seem to go wrong. When we sing together, most of our worries seem to fade for a while. We follow the lead of our conductors, Mr. Snyder and Beth, who shape each piece with the wave of their hands. However, the music is really formed in our hearts and in our minds, in a place that reaches deep into our souls and captures our true emotions, breathing hope and clarity into people’s lives.
Following the concert, Chorale members wished goodbye to one another. Some of us will not see each other until tour this coming June. Though we say “goodbye,” we know it really isn’t. Tomorrow, next week, next month, and forever, our hearts will always be filled with those we love. We are the Cardinal Chorale, and we will love and honor each other endlessly.