By Liz Core
The Goshen College World Music Choir is hitting the road. The women’s group, led by choir director Deb Brubaker, will embark on a series of trips to various church venues to perform their themed repertoire entitled “Magnificat!” The women will travel to eight locations in three different states within the span of three weekends. The venture will begin this upcoming Feb. 25 weekend with a visit to three Mennonite churches and a Catholic church in Chicago. Following weekends include trips to Ohio and various stops in Indiana.
This year’s thematic choice derives from the Virgin Mary’s hymn called the “Magnificat,” a Latin term meaning “My soul magnifies the Lord!” The songs that the group will be singing, ranging from Kenyan hymns to an Ave Maria, tell of Mary’s faithful life along with celebrating God, womanhood and the human spirit. Deb Brubaker assisted in the decision to focus on Mary in the vocal arrangement.
“I like the idea of Mary as the mother of Christ and I like also the idea of that maternal instinct, the nurturing instinct that woman have, embracing the whole world, taking Mary to a cosmic level realizing we are all able to be mothers or nurturers in one way or another,” said Brubaker.
Because of the focal point of the arrangement being centered around spirituality, all of the predetermined performance venues are churches. All but one are Mennonite affiliated churches, the exception being St. Viator’s Catholic Church in downtown Chicago. The church will be opening their doors to the women’s choir on Feb. 27. When looking for venues, St. Viator’s was chosen because of it is a largely public and diverse venue with enhancing acoustics.
In traveling around the tri-state area, the choir hopes to provide audiences with the experience of finding God through international music, as well as experience it together and for themselves.
“My hope for this particular tour is that the singers will be able to, with the repeated singing of these songs, get it into their bodies and their spirits deeply. [I hope that] the repeated singing of the music will touch a spiritual part of them, heal spots that need to be healed, enliven spots that need to be enlivened,” said Brubaker.