On Our Way to OCDA

Today began with an early rehearsal for today’s big event: our performance for the opening concert of the Ohio Choral Directors Association (OCDA) summer conference! Everyone was exhausted from our fun at home stays, but we fought through it because of our determination to impress all the high school and collegiate choir directors for which we would soon be singing. Before, however, a brunch was necessary!

Like our potato bar for last night’s dinner, we had a beautiful breakfast buffet for our late breakfast and early lunch.  Eggs, bacon, turkey bacon, cookies, muffins, lemonade, yogurt, fruit, sat ready for our wretchedly starving stomachs to enjoy. While eating, the whole of the baritone section sat together. Studies have proven that when a group is united in close friendship

and emotional bond, they sing together better. So the baritones discussed their home stays from the night before, their good memories of yesterday, and their hopes for today. Jordan was happy that he met his future roommate for the first time at our Westerville concert. Logan and Logan had a great time getting to know each other at their homestay. All the baritones were set on working as a team during our OCDA performance since there is no “I” in team!

A well-deserved “thank you” to Karla Kruse and volunteers from St. Paul’s Lutheran Church for their hospitality, generosity, and continued support of our mission!

-The Cardinal Chorale

Soon we were off to Otterbein University for our OCDA performance! The Chorale gathered in the Battelle Fine Arts Center’s Riley Auditorium, where we had an hour to acclimate our sound to the acoustics of the hall. It was especially fantastic to have Beth Vaughn, the Cardinal Chorale’s associate conductor, lead us in our musical theatre and American set of songs, as well as Mr. Len Thomas, a past pianist and singer for Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, returning to conduct “All the Things You Are” for the second performance in a row. It was quite an honor for us when Mr. Thomas, who has worked for years on the Waring sound, referred to the Cardinal Chorale as “mini-Pennsylvanians” and applauded our efforts to stay true to Mr. Waring’s legacy.

After a very warm welcome to Marion’s Emmanuel Lutheran Church (with Twizzlers, Kit-Kats, and water included), the church’s organist played “Battle Hymn of the Republic” on an organ connected to around 3,000 pipes and trumpets. It was amazing to hear the difference in sound based on your location in the sanctuary, chancel, or balcony. Many volunteers contributed to making our second taco bar on 2017’s Summer Tour, but no Chorale member had any complaints about that! It was a great way to celebrate Taco… Monday. There were also tables with plates piled in desserts, such as “Mexican” ice cream, cinnamon “taquitos”, and fruit. Some singers enjoyed using the miniature sombrero table centerpieces as actual hats– Quinn had three on at once!

Our concert had the largest crowd yet! There were many alums, parents, and long-time supporters in the audience, as well as copious amounts of potential recruits for the 23rd Edition of the Cardinal Chorale. Our recruiting team had their eyes peeled for enthusiastic, appropriately-aged singers throughout the performance. Afterward, there were at least four auditionees!

“God is great, and so is America.”

-Audience Member



Featured Singer of the Day: Ellie Brems, Soprano II

Coshocton County, Ohio

Fifth year member

Favorite Chorale Song: Be Not Afraid (Craig Courtney)

Favorite Part of Today: Watching OCDA choral directors begin to understand and enjoy our group, as well as realize our excellence and musicality

Impact the Chorale has Had: “Because of the Chorale, I have made tons of friends, became stronger as a singer, and became more outgoing as a person.”

Future Plans: Ellie is currently attending Kent State University and majoring in Fashion Design. In August, she will begin studying abroad in Italy. Later, she hopes to move to Columbus, Ohio to find a job in the fashion industry.