By Rose Cyburt
Every year during spring break, the Alma choir travels around the country performing. This year, it will go to Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee and Kentucky, as well as certain areas around Michigan.
William Nichols, conductor of Alma choirs, plans each tour at the end of the previous year. “I started planning for next year already by deciding we are going to Florida, but I haven’t picked out the music yet.”
“First I have to contact the churches and hosts and then figure out who is going to be in the choir to decide what music fits the choir and their voices.”
The students practice every weekday for an hour and 15 minutes to prepare. Before they leave for the week, the choir performs for the campus.
Nichols isn’t concerned about performances and believes they are very well prepared.
“They have worked hard just like everyone from the other choirs have.”
According to the students, not every piece is completely memorized yet, but they still feel ready. “I feel pretty prepared for it even though it came faster than I thought it would which is a little nerve wracking,” said Kaydee Hall (’19).
Most of the nerves come from the new choir members who haven’t been on tour yet. “I know it’ll be a long week,” said Hall.
While the students are gone for the entire break, it is still an experience to look forward to. “I’m really excited to see Nashville and Louisville,” said Marina Thornton (’19).
Nichols decided to travel outside of Michigan to keep it interesting. “It would be hard to spend the entire week between Kalamazoo and Grand Haven.”
Few choir members seem disappointed about the week-long trip of performing. “The tour is a bigger time commitment than I thought it would be, but the amount of places we go to makes it worth it,” said Maddie Luebke (’20).
Families are welcomed to travel along with the students as well. Tylor Cole (’18) has had his own cheering section the past two years that included his parents, his brother and his sister, but this year Cole’s brother will be performing as well.
“They tend to make their own vacation out of it, but this year my sister Leah gets out of school a week early for the trip,” said Cole. “I’m extremely sad that it’s my last domestic tour, but I’m looking forward to going to Scotland.”
Nichols plans a spring term for the choir to go abroad every two years. The last trip was to Ireland and this year they will be performing in Scotland.
All the singers have been working hard the past six weeks and Nichols has been pushing them harder every day. He reminds the students that they will sound great as long as they put in the effort.
“I feel more and more ready, but I still feel a little bit of pressure since the choir has toured for years and has high expectations,” said Luebke.