Former Vocal Director Returns

Katherine Ly, Editor in Chief

Dr. Gene Peterson, current Bethel University choir director and former choir director for Campolindo, returned to campus on March 13, accompanied by some of his college students.

“He was the choir director here at Campo from 1999 until 2006,” said current Musical Director Mark Roberts, who was also a student of Peterson’s. “And then after he left and got a doctoral degree and then he’s been teaching in college since then.” Peterson reached out to Roberts several months ago to set up the visit.

The Bethel University singers, who traveled from their Minnesota campus to California as part of a performance tour, joined the Campolindo chamber singers for a rendition of “Let my Love be Heard” by Jake Runestad.

“It’s a pretty common thing for choirs to do, to 1) go on tour and 2) to do visits to other schools or to other choirs whether they’re affiliated with schools or not, to share music with one another and sing for each other,” said Roberts. “In this particular case we had both been working on the same piece of music, so then we just sang it together as a combined group. That was kind of neat.”

Roberts added that it was nice that he and Peterson have maintained a friendship. “I’ve known him for a very long time. Our relationship has evolved from a student teacher relationship to a friendship. It’s just neat to have someone who’s known you for a long and is supportive of my career and professional endeavors to come back and share our work with one another,” he said.

Bethel choir freshman Garret Hanson was impressed by Chamber’s performance. “That song was amazing. Everyone in the Bethel choir was impressed,” said Hanson.

In addition to singing, Bethel choir also talked about their tour and “different things they had at their school, like about choir, about private teachers, about voice lessons,” said senior Jovana Durovic.  They also provided advice about taking choir in college.

“[Choir is] a big part of my life. It should be a big part of people’s life because it brings people together. Choir’s like a family, and I definitely saw that in the Campo choir,” said Hanson.

Durovic said she’s not sure if she will pursue choir in college, but that she’ll take “probably some chamber group, but not as a major.” She added that Chamber will be going on their own tour around southern California.