Sunday, June 12, 2022

Hitting the road from Marion, we arrived at the quaint Amlin United Methodist Church near Dublin,
lending our music to their Sunday morning worship. Pastor Steve Putka – father of Chorale alumni
Chad, Grace, and Sam – gave a stirring sermon on what it means to be a minister: be open to your
gift, and use it! Within a few minutes after the worship ended, we worked with the congregants to
convert the space into a large indoor picnic, with delicious hamburgers and enormous, delicious
tomato slices! After a quick change into summer uniforms, we boarded the coach again and headed
for Dayton.

The Chorale visited the Paul Laurence Dunbar House for a look back in history. The site included the
home where the poet lived with his mother at the end of his life. It also displayed many personal
historical objects, as well as a traveling exhibit set to go on its own tour around Ohio for Dunbar’s
150th celebration this year. Our guides were very knowledgeable about life in Dayton in the early
1900s, and gave us a lot to think about the man whose words inspired later writers such as Maya
Angelou and Toni Morrison.

Just a few minutes’ drive down the road we met up with Chorale alumna Samantha Seeburg, our host
at Sulphur Grove United Methodist Church. The acoustics could not have been better in the beautiful
sanctuary – many of us got goose bumps during the afternoon rehearsal. We were treated to a dinner
of sloppy joes, potato chips, apple sauce, and cake and ice cream, which was a refreshing treat after
a hot day! The Chorale Circle this evening was a particularly special one, where first-year members
were presented with their Chorale medallions, and we were able to share some of our favorite things
about our group’s newest singers. It is a great thing to do early in the tour: a time to lift up those
around you and welcome everyone on board. Any performance nerves we may have felt about
performing in this new space dissipated quickly because of the receptive audience. They were
enthralled with our every word, and made the concert that much more enjoyable for us. We
premiered several new pieces at this concert, including “Somewhere Out There,” and after the
concert we met our wonderful host families in the church’s Activity Center before heading home with
them for the night.