At last, the first full day of the 2021 Cardinal Chorale Workshop has arrived! Eager to begin the Sunday, some members of the group woke up a little extra early to partake in one of the Morning Mindset activities put on by the staff — running with Josh Senn, devotions with Erin Jobes, or disk golf with Steve Snyder. While others chose to get their beauty rest, we all reconvened for our first breakfast of the week at Patton Hall with our opera. The rest of the morning was filled with a brief tour of our new rehearsal spaces, a phenomenal talk from Erin Jobes about the importance of being, and of course, lots and lots of singing.
After a fantastic taco lunch, the Chorale split into smaller seminar groups to further engage the mind, body, spirit, and voice. The seminars cover a broad range of interests including everything from computer programming to some of the more specific aspects of technical music. These seminars are a wonderful opportunity to get to know one another on a more personal level and learn something new at the same time.
From seminars, we moved to part and sectional rehearsals to begin working on our music note by note. By breaking down into the four vocal parts represented in the ensemble, each part is able to work on any trouble areas that we may not have time to go over in full rehearsal. It’s amazing to see how quickly the group picks up on corrections and notes, and our hard work certainly pays off in full rehearsals. After a busy afternoon chock-full of rehearsing, our pizza dinner was a more than welcome sight, segueing to our final full-group rehearsals of the day. The 26th edition of the Chorale was then treated to a special presentation by Matt Downing diving into the group’s history and traditions to be passed on to this year’s new edition. The most touching moment of the night was hearing our fearless leader, Charles R. Snyder, tell us all just how much we mean to him.
Following a boisterous rendition of Paul J. Christiansen’s “This Is My Father’s World” (sung alongside the video recording from the 25th Anniversary Celebration), we met under the outdoor tent for our first Chorale circle of the week. It was remarkable to hear from the new members about how well their first 32 hours of workshop had gone; it was very heartwarming to hear how welcomed they felt coming into a new group with a lot of already-formed friendships. That is one of the many wonderful, unique traits of our ensemble: we have a way of making everyone feel at home, even in unfamiliar places.
We are so thrilled to be back together and making music again, and we look forward to sharing our music with you all! Be sure to keep up with our adventures this week on Instagram (@cardinalchorale), Twitter (@cardchorale), Facebook, or right here on the blog!