Finally, the 23rd Edition of the Cardinal Chorale gathered for our first day together! This morning, returning and new members met on the campus of Muskingum University to share our love for music. Smiles, waves, and most importantly, hugs, were exchanged between all whom had not seen each other for months or had just met. Thirty-four returning members, seventeen newly-minted friends, and loving staff members are sure to be capable of making the Cardinal Chorale the best it can possibly be!
Our first rehearsal, with our supportive parents listening in, was magic. A few songs were review for some of us “veterans,” but others no current Chorale member had ever seen. However, Morgan, a third-year, claims she already had goosebumps from our sound. While still learning our music, new members were engaged by tales of past Workshops and Tours, comments about the spirit and friendships of the Chorale, thoughts on how it has impacted some lives, and more.
After voice range checks, residence hall etiquette talks, and more chatting with friends, it was time for dinner! Tonight, Muskingum’s dining staff spoiled us with chicken, potatoes of all kinds, ice cream, and the best M&M cookies of all time. Seating during our meal was arranged by grade level. Those who have just graduated from high school enjoyed discussing their respective colleges; singers already in college mused about their usual college struggles; younger members expressed their options for their futures.
Following dinner and more rehearsals, in which Mr. Snyder exclaimed how impressive our sound was for only the first day together, the Chorale met in their Opera. Opera is the plural form of “opus,” which is defined as a work of music. For Chorale purposes, an Opus is a small group of singers. The eight Opera met to learn more about each other, play games, eat snacks, and have fun in their Opus Huddles. Opus 5, for example, munched on Kroger cookies and chips and played the “I’m a Cardinal, and You are Too…” game.
Following Opus Huddles, all Opera united for our nightly Chorale Friendship Circle. Everyone partook in agreement of their favorite songs from today, laughing at funny stories, and being inspired by Mr. Snyder’s anecdote of the simple ways to make someone’s day drastically better. Holding hands isn’t required of the Friendship Circle, but since we bonded so much today, the brand new 23rd Edition of the Cardinal Chorale felt comfortable doing so.
“Give us hope and we’ll show you the way” –Give Us Hope (arr. Jim Papoulis)