Choir members return from spring break trip with many memories

Over spring break the choir took a week-long road trip, performing in many places all the way to Louisiana, with stops in Memphis, New Orleans, Gulf Shores and Nashville.

The choir goes on a trip once every three years over spring break, taking turns with the band and orchestra. This year, in total, there were 80 choir students that went on the trip.

Eliott Kranz has been working as the CFHS choir director for 13 years and knows a lot about the process of planning the spring break trip for the choir.

On this trip, Kranz said the choir had three performances: once at Graceland in Memphis, at the World War II museum in New Orleans and at Gulf Shores State Park in Alabama.

The choir class president, senior Sophia Woods, said she enjoyed the trip a lot, including playing cards with friends in an open-air lobby of a hotel. “It’s the one I treasure the most from the trip because I believe it encapsulates everything that was so special about it: the chance to travel to beautiful places and enjoy it with some of the people I love most, even in the most ordinary circumstances.”

Along with this, Woods said her favorite song was “The Parting Glass” by Sarah Quartal. The song was “one that had a lot of meaning for me personally as I’m getting ready to graduate and move on. We sang it to our serving staff and chefs at many of the restaurants we ate at, and seeing their overwhelmingly positive reactions was really empowering as well.”

Junior Abby Dvorak is the choir’s vice president, and she said some of her favorite parts included “singing at Graceland, which is Elvis Presley’s property, and singing at the National World War II Museum.”

Dvorak’s favorite song was “Prayer of the Children” by Kurt Bestor. The piece is a favorite of Dvorak’s because of the meaning behind the song. The story of the song began in World War II 

“when the composer of the piece worked at a children’s hospital. When he left to get more supplies at another location, he was devastated to find that the hospital was bombed upon his return. It had a strong message that detested anger and violence, which is something I felt really applies to our society today because of the many violent attacks against schools and hospitals. Although the song was sad, I felt that the message was beautiful and accurate which is why it quickly turned into my favorite.”

Senior concert choir member Henry Giddens said he enjoyed New Orleans the most, mainly because of the new food and the city.

Giddens favorite song was “Prayer of the Children” by Kurt Bestor because “it has a really powerful message, and it’s a beautiful song.”

Giddens said that with how much fun he was having it wasn’t that bad being thousands of miles away from home.

Sophomore treble clef choir member Gina Brooks said they had a great time on the trip, especially with their twin brother who is in bass clef choir and who also came on the trip. Brooks said they “was just glad to get a break from home, and I really only missed my cat.”

Brooks had enjoyed many things on the trip, and one of her favorite parts was the shopping, especially at “a bookstore with a cat in it.” 

One of Brooks’ favorite “planned” parts of the trip “was going to Graceland (Elvis’ house), as we took a ton of tours everywhere.”

Brooks had trouble choosing between “Gamaya” by John Paul Rodoi and  “Prayer of the Children” by Kurt Bestor as their favorite song sung during the trip.

Brooks had trouble with choosing because “‘Prayer of the Children’ was so eerie and full of emotion, and it’s written so well. However, ‘Gamaya,’ while simple, goes off in canons, one voice part after the other, creating a really cool effect when sung in a giant group as we did.”

Brooks had really felt like the choir had “bonded” during their time on the trip.

Sophomore Grace Roth is a treble clef member, and when she was leaving for the trip she thought that she’d miss her family and be lost without them. In reality though, “it was kind of great to be away from my parents” and “do pretty much whatever I wanted (within reason.)”

Roth’s favorite part of the trip “wasn’t necessarily the things we did, but the people we did them with. It was so fun to go to new places, see new things and experience new things with my friends and make new friendships along the way.”

“Prayer of the Children” by Kurt Bestor was Roth’s favorite song “because it’s such a beautiful and emotional song. At that moment, I really felt moved by the song. Every note and every dynamic seemed to line up, and I felt like I could actually feel the ‘hearts of the children’ like it says in the song.”

The choir setlist for the trip included “Dereva ni Mungu” by Jake Runestad, “Sing My Child” by Sarah Quartal, “Prayer of the Children” by Kurt Bestor, “Gamaya” by John Paul Rodoi and “The Parting Glass” by Sarah Quartal. The choir left on Saturday, March 11 at 7 a.m. and returned on Friday March 18 at 8:30 a.m.

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