Choir Tours SoCal Colleges

Gracie Woidat, Staff Writer

Chamber and Bel Canto choirs participated in choral clinics at various collegiate and high school choir programs, including Cal Poly, Cal Baptist University, Biola, and the University of Redlands from April 10-13.

The collegiate tour takes place every other year, alternating with the larger Concert Choir tour that travels out of state. Last year the tour visited Nashville.

According to choir director Mark Roberts, the purpose of the tour was to give students a broader sense of music programs at both high school and collegiate levels. “With these 2 groups, it’s pretty likely they will sing in college, whether or not they major in music, so it gave them the chance to experience what it would be like working with choir directors at that level even if they’re not going to school there,” he said.

The trip gave singers the chance to improve and receive feedback on their repertoire for their upcoming spring concert on May 17, as well as interact with other musicians. “Working with other conductors was really interesting because we got to see different methods that aren’t used by our class and to see what was effective and what wasn’t,” said sophomore Bel Canto singer Sophie Hevel.

It was also a bonding experience for the whole choir community. “I thought it was really enjoyable to get to know other singers who aren’t in my choir because there are a lot of students that I sing with but don’t really know,” said sophomore Bel Canto member Shannon Crosby. “It was nice to build a community between our 2 choirs.”

A favorite stop on the tour was Redlands which, according to Hevel, was “a beautiful place to sing because the bounce-back of sound from our voices was insane.”

“Redlands was a highlight for many of my students that have never sung in a space that has such a nice reverb, so it was a great experience to sing in a different venue,” agreed Roberts.

The choirs also performed part of their set at Six Flags Magic Mountain at the tail end of their trip and were surprised by another college choir group who cheered them on. “It was super random but they stayed and were a great audience, and so it really stood out because we weren’t expecting it at all and it was a lot of fun,” said Roberts.

“[Six Flags] was my favorite part because after we sang for the group they went up and sang for us, so it was really cool to interact with others over something we both have fun with and are passionate about,” said Hevel.