Concert Choir Provides Unique Opportunity

Jun 29, 2016 | Hannah Hitzeroth

Hannah Hitzeroth, senior communication major at the University of Dubuque, performed around the country with the University’s Concert Choir tour.

This spring was my fourth and final time touring the country with the University of Dubuque Concert Choir. The choir tour, in its 13th year, allowed me to visit almost every state east of the Mississippi as well as Hawaii. This year’s theme was “This Is The Day,” and we traveled from the University’s campus to New York City and back to show off our talents.

Under the direction of Dr. Charles Barland, professor of music at UD, around 40 choir students performed in six states – Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, and Illinois. We mostly sang in churches. I enjoyed performing in churches with high ceilings and marble walls. The acoustics filled the room with so much sound you could feel the vibrations in your chest.

We performed our set of 15 choral pieces at each of the local churches. The music included styles such as folk songs, Psalms, and classic works. One of my favorite songs this year was “An Expression of Gratitude” by David Schwoebel. The song begins with “I thank my God,” which is fitting to how thankful I am to Him for giving me my UD Choir Family.

The choir tour is not only about performances, but it also is about experiencing our country and developing relationships with each other and host families. I have always enjoyed staying with host families during the choir tour. It’s amazing how comfortable you can get with someone you just met. This last choir tour, I talked with a missionary and his wife about God, music, and, as he put it, traveling until the sun went down. When the choir tour traveled to Hawaii, I stayed in a treehouse because my host family owned a treehouse bed and breakfast. These are the places I would have never visited and people I would have never met without the choir tour.

The UD Concert Choir provided me opportunities I never thought I would experience. One such memorable experience was walking through the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City. I was only seven years old when 9/11 occurred, so I never fully grasped the impact of that day. By the end of the museum walkthrough, though, I was in tears.

After a nine-day national tour and over 1,000 miles traveled, the spring tour came to a close on May 24, but the friendships we made will last a lifetime.