Most of us arrived before 1:00 to prepare ourselves for the lengthy day ahead of us. We traversed from near and far through rain and snow to make music. After a brief sharing of stories, hugs, and joys we prepared ourselves for practice. With music in one hand, pencil in the other, and water bottle on the floor next to us, we sang.
The day started with some words from Mr. Snyder and a warm-up (and of course back rubs!), then we started to sing. For an hour or so, we practiced as a full ensemble. Next, we split up to work in sectionals to further fortify our complex harmonies with each other. After a brief snack, we were further divided into part rehearsals. We worked vigorously throughout the afternoon until we met up again as an entire ensemble one more time.
This time we practiced very briefly, with occasional stories from Mr. Snyder to further inspire us and lift our spirits. At dinner, we ate amazing food prepared by Erin Jobes’ parents (probably more than some of us should have). To close the day, we needed to place the singers on the risers and practice our processional and recessional. After this was accomplished, we met up with our host families in preparation for some well-earned sleep.
After arriving at our host families houses, we were greeted by so many snacks, and beautiful tours of their homes. After a quick snack and some great conversations, we looked over some music on our own, and had a full nights rest. When we arrived back at the church the next morning, we were greeted with the other Chorale members and shared stories of our home stays. After a quick rehearsal, we attended and sang for the Sunday morning service. After the service, we went downstairs for a great lunch, full of more conversations and much-needed catching up.
After lunch we quickly cleaned the fellowship hall and moved upstairs to begin rehearsing for our concert. And for the first time this year, the magic of the Cardinal Chorale could be felt.
Everything about this group is impossible. The very existence of the Cardinal Chorale has been challenged over the past couple of years and the last summer was no different. We scrambled to assemble enough people to make into the Chorale. Forty plus singers from around the state should not be able to come together and make the kind of music the Chorale produces. Getting that many people together at all is a miracle, as anyone in almost any group can attest to. Through all of the fire surrounding the group, the heart of the Cardinal Chorale remained intact. On Sunday February 14th, 2016; the Cardinal Chorale was reborn as it has been so many times before. Somewhere in the heart of every member of the group, a flame was ignited and the result was astounding. Up on the risers in rehearsal before the first concert of 2016, a sound that group of people had yet to produce arose.
This inspired all of us to give the best concert we had ever given, and that is exactly what we did. The Cardinal Chorale performed that afternoon. It was not a combination of different individuals singing under a single name, it was one voice fueled by the embodiment of the Cardinal Chorale spirit that has touched so many lives.
The concert that day is one many will remember. It served as proof that even when the world around us begins to fall apart and the only word that echoes through our minds is “impossible” that there is always a way to rise above and make something amazing.
The Cardinal Chorale changed my life, and it’s days like that when I remember why.
Thank you to those who housed singers, members of the congregation of the Presbyterian Church who supported the reunion, the Coshocton Community Choir, and everyone who came out to support us. Without you there would be no Cardinal Chorale.
Written by Evan, Ryan, and Ben; Pictures by McKayla