Men’s Chorus discusses trip to The Big Easy

Men’s Chorus discusses trip to The Big Easy

Christina Hofer

Arts Editor

cjhofer@goshen.edu

Senior Brody Thomas conducts the men in song on the Men’s Chorus spring break tour to New Orleans last week.

Senior Brody Thomas conducts the men in song on
the Men’s Chorus spring break tour to New Orleans
last week.

How long was the drive and where did you go?

 

“We split the trip there into a couple of days—first to Indianapolis, where we stayed for a night in a church, then to Meridian, Mississippi, where we stayed at a camp lodge, then to New Orleans for four days.” — Seth Yoder (senior)

“We went to New Orleans, LA, my hometown.” — Etienne Davis (first year)

“The return trip was a long haul—about sixteen hours straight.” — Caleb Liechty (first year)

“We had a diverse array of tour locations. We stopped at churches, schools and nursing/retirement homes. We sang to groups of predominately old people, young people, rich people or poor.” — Julian Harnish (first year)

 

What was the hardest part of tour?

 

“Definitely trying to sleep on the bus. I woke up once so sore that I had to use my arms to pull myself upright.  That was the worst.” — Reuben Ng (senior)

“The morning we had to wake up at six, and then perform three times that day. It was a bit exhausting, but we all had a blast once we started singing.” — Caleb Liechty

“Leaving New Orleans and then driving through the night to get back to Goshen.  Thankfully, we had great drivers and nice traveling weather.” — Scott Hochstetler (men’s choir director)

“Nothing. It was like a vacation. Compared to that last week of school before break…I think most of us were having a good time most of the time.” — Seth Yoder

 

What are some favorite memories from the trip?

 

“Singing at “McDonough 35,” the first African-American high school to open in Louisiana. After we finished our program, their choir performed for us—”We Shall Overcome” and “Ain’-a That Good News”—and they blew us away with their sound and their passion. Their singing brought tears to my eyes and chills to my spine.” — Isaiah Friesen (sophomore)

“One night we got dropped off on Frenchmen St, which is a really lively place. After a bit of walking around, a 5- or 6-piece street jazz band started playing. Some of these guys were still in high school, but they were so tight, and the sidewalks on all sides of the intersection were filled with people jamming out. It was like a community just suddenly emerged. Malcolm and I and some other guys were there dancing and listening for like 30 minutes, probably more.”— Seth Yoder

“Getting to know our group on a deeper level. The upperclassmen were so great in making us all feel a part of the group. I was privileged to be part of one of the most intense games of Dutch Blitz ever—and it was with a first year (me), second year (Wade), third year (Blake), and senior (Stefan). That was really neat.” — Caleb Liechty

“During free time one evening, me and a couple of other guys went to see some live music in Exhibition Hall. It was an amazing atmosphere. I was in complete awe of their musicianship.” — Wade Troyer (sophomore)

“Finding and creating stronger bonds with a friend and the rest of the choir.” — Etienne Davis

“Participating in the Organ and Labyrinth Concert at Trinity Episcopal Church. These concerts were started after [Hurricane] Katrina and are put on every Tuesday evening.  In a dimly lit sanctuary, we sang from the balcony, alternating with organ music, while the congregants walked a labyrinth at the front of the church.  Our students participated once they were done singing and President Brenneman, who was grieving the loss of his mother, even participated.” Scott Hochstetler

“On the streets, the entire choir was listening to a brass band. They finished their jazz piece and we burst out in one of our songs; people began circling with smartphones held up and there was an incredible united feeling among complete strangers, everyone enjoying or making music.” Reuben Ng

 

Are you glad you spent your spring break with the Mens Chorus on tour?

 

“Yes!” — Wade Troyer

“I couldn’t have asked for a better break. Well, the weather could have been better, but I couldn’t have asked for better people to spend my senior spring break with.”  Bobby Switzer (senior)

“Absolutely. It was tiring, but it was well worth it to be able to share the gift of choral singing both with our audiences and with my brothers in the chorus in so many different settings.” — Isaiah Friesen

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