Thursday, June 16, 2022

After another wonderful breakfast, our forces reunited for our final morning Circle. We talked some
about our hopes for this final day of the tour, including our Finale Concert back in Coshocton that
evening. We used a few moments to take some group photos on a beautiful staircase in the church,
and were blessed with some downtime at Easton Mall. It was a joy to see the Chorale’s red “shield”
T-shirts almost everywhere in the shopping center, both inside and out, and enjoyed the many
options for a delicious lunch of our choice.

Because of some road detours, our trip back to Coshocton was longer than usual, yet our spirits were
high and we enjoyed some free entertainment thanks to more Mad Libs and silly stories. We stopped
in downtown Coshocton to allow members to pick up their cars, and then headed up the hill to
Roscoe United Methodist Church. For the Chorale, this venue definitely feels like “home,” and we
wanted to give our best performance, which would be recorded by Ridgewood High School band
director, John Lindig. We had a much-needed talk about the future of the Cardinal Chorale. COVID
had a big impact on the world, and our organization was not spared from this. We knew we needed
to invest in recruitment and promotion to continue to spread our mission as “Choral Ambassadors of

Our evening meal was provided by Ann Leppla and a team of local parents, and then it was time to
dress for the final Chorale Circle. Mr. Snyder challenged each of us to say a few short words about
our Chorale experience, and there were a lot of emotional tears in response to the beautiful
sentiments of our friends. The concert that evening was a triumph – singing at “home” for some of
our biggest fans, closely bonded through our experiences on and off the risers, we sang as one and gave an outstanding performance. Shannon Folkert, Haley Evans, Mark Wagner, and Matt Downing
were honored with the Chorale’s Medal of Distinction, a well-deserved recognition of their hard work
behind the scenes to make the Chorale’s outreach possible. As the concert concluded, there were
more tears and hugs, but these were not goodbyes. The Chorale has taught us to say “Auf
wiedersehen,” the German phrase meaning “until we see each other again,” because we all know the
lyrics of Michael W. Smith – “a lifetime’s not too long to live as Friends.”

As we head back into our own “bubbles” of the world, we can be invigorated and empowered by our
Chorale experience, reminding ourselves to see the best in others and to work to bring it out. We ARE
“Choral Ambassadors of Hope,” and it’s up to us to make a difference in our own spheres of
influence. Let There Be Music!

-Hope Asbury & Molly Beetem