The Chorale members woke up feeling a little bittersweet about their final day on tour. It would be difficult to say goodbye to all the friends who had become like family, but also everyone felt the exhaustion of a well-spent week weighing on them. Nevertheless, everyone got up and ready and had breakfast with their host families before returning to the church for one last morning circle time. Everyone shared their favorite moments from the previous night’s concert.
Excited to get going to the next venue, everyone loaded up onto the bus and headed to Friendship Village, a retirement home. The Chorale always loves coming here since the audience remembers and sings along with most of the repertoire.
And again this year, the members of the Chorale sincerely enjoyed conversing with the audience members after the performance, enjoying listening to stories and memories from those they were able to greet. After a brief restroom break, everyone grabbed a boxed lunch and headed onto the Coach so that they could head off to their next destination.
Now it was time to go back to where we started– Coshocton. But first, we had to take a very important detour:
A devoted teacher to many, Ms. Collins, and her husband, former Judge Richard Evans, have encouraged and supported the Cardinal Chorale for years. They recruited for us, provided home-stay accommodations, donated monetary funds, and even had all four of their kids in the Chorale. We traveled to their home to sing them some of the family’s favorites: “Side by Side,” “America the Beautiful,” and “This is My Father’s World.” Then, we expressed our thankfulness to them by presenting Ms. Collins and the Honorable Judge Evans with the Cardinal Chorale’s Medal of Distinction.
We then headed to the place of our final tour concert– Roscoe United Methodist Church. After fine-tuning some pieces, we headed to dinner. Shout out to the volunteer cooks who went above and beyond to make us wonderful shredded chicken, noodles, fruit, and the jello Michael loved a little bit too much.
We assembled in our concert uniforms for the last time, and stood together in our final friendship circle. This time, everyone was asked to express one thought about anything involving tour. Some told about the friendship they felt, or how this experience changed them. Others explained how much they needed this tour in order to make their lives better. Some cried, and the rest of the Chorale was there to comfort them. Hayden was really motivating with his speech that “we can make the same differences we’ve made with this choir in other places.”
The 21st edition of the Cardinal Chorale took the stage for the last time together on this tour. Usually, the tour finale is the best performance, for we gradually increase our performance level throughout the week. That was certainly true this time as well. We left the stage with no regrets, because we did as well as we could have done on all of the songs. The audience particularly enjoyed “Go Light Your World,” the theme song for this year’s tour.
After the concert, the Chorale met back in our friendship circle. Mr. Snyder and others inspired us to “go light our worlds” and shine our light on whomever we can. Many of us took that to heart as we hugged and said goodbye to each other and the staff. “Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.”