Choir Tour is one of those trips that you look forward to for a long time, but then has come and gone before you know it! Months of practice, preparation, anticipation, and excitement all culminate into a few short days on tour. This year, the Chamber Singers traveled through Iowa and Illinois. Our trip allowed us to visit several churches and meeting many wonderful Christians. Here are some of the highlights.
Some of the best memories that we had on tour came from traveling together. Our big blue bus, expertly driven by Mr. Hewison, carried us across the rolling Midwestern plains. On the bus we talked, laughed, slept, and even studied (once in a while). The Chamber Singers are a diverse representation of Maranatha’s student body: getting to know other choir members rarely occurs until choir tour. However, it didn’t take long for our group to develop a great relationship as a choir. Friendships developed naturally on choir tour because everyone was part of the same team. Repeated interaction while ministering spiritually seems to quickly enhance this development.
Choir tour was a lot of fun, too! We learned to laugh at our mistakes, to act like singing a song about a horse auction is perfectly normal, and to create memories with any group or individual we interacted with. We enjoyed unique activities on the bus (namely, “purveyage”) and perambulating through Peoria (acting like tourists from India, Saj Cherian!) This year on choir tour we had a blast not only by having fun as a group, but primarily by ministering to local churches as we travelled.
Singing is fun, but singing to God and for His glory is even better! I think this truth made our choir tour invaluable. Not only did the Chambers choir enjoy interaction within our group, but also ministry to fellow believers through music. My favorite song our choir sang on tour was titled, “How Can I Keep From Singing?” The text describes the difficult circumstances that life brings with words such as “lamentations,” “tumult,” “strife,” “storm,” “tempest,” and “darkness.” But despite all of this, the song continues, “since Christ is Lord of Heaven and Earth, How can I keep from singing?” This captures the essence of believers’ hope here on earth! We do and will face adversity in life, but faith and hope in Jesus Christ make praise to Him possible even in the darkest trials.
The Chambers Singers also presented choral selections including “What Wondrous Love,” “Zion’s Walls,” and “How Firm a Foundation.” Each song was so much more than a performance: any secular choir could sing any of these songs at a high level of quality. The difference, however, is that our hearts have been transformed by Jesus Christ, and our choir sang for His glory, not our own. The words to these hymns and songs are real to Dr. Ledgerwood, to the Chambers Singers, and to me.
Now, the Chamber Singers are back at Maranatha. Praise the Lord we made it safely with no problems or trouble! Papers are due now, deadlines and exams are looming, and the pressure of college is back upon us. However, the memories, blessings, and truths of choir tour and the songs we sing are always with us. The texts of our choir songs pop into my mind very often, and God uses them to encourage and challenge me throughout each week. Chamber Singers choir tour was a tremendous privilege and opportunity to grow and to minister: How can we keep from singing?
Listen to the Chamber Singers rehearse “How Can I Keep From Singing.”