University Choir Tour

Emily Chudzik

Millikin’s most advanced level choir, University Choir, embarked on an eleven day tour this past winter break. In addition to performing in Illinois, they traveled to cities in Michigan, Missouri, and Indiana. While most of their concerts were in churches, the choir also visited a few high schools and held workshops for the students.

“We had three different workshops for them: one that showed different vowel sounds, one about how the voice matures, and one on different techniques when we sing,” explained sophomore nursing major Brian David. U-Choir even collaborated on a few songs with the younger students at their concerts.

“We got a chance to sing with over 1500 high school students,” said senior mathematics major Tyler Ross. “It was cool to inspire students to keep singing. I’m a math major, so it’s cool that I can still do music at Millikin. It’s been such a relief at school, and I hope we got to inspire a lot of students.”

The power of music and the influence it can have is something that brings the members of U-Choir together. Christina Cummins, a junior vocal music education major, said, “My favorite song we sang is ‘I Will Lift Mine Eyes,’ by Jake Runestad, because the spiritual text relates to me through my faith. Besides faith, it’s a song where we all come together and praise something beautiful.”

Making music with a group of people is even more special when the director is enthusiastic and passionate about what he does. “I love being directed by Dr. Holmes. He’s a really respectable guy, and he truly loves teaching and inspiring and blessing other people. That is definitely one of his gifts. I think that’s one of the coolest things about U-Choir,” said Ross.

U-Choir is made up of a variety of students from different backgrounds who are studying different subjects. “There’s a very diverse group of people from a variety of majors with a range of capabilities, but we all bring something to the table that makes beautiful music,” said David.

“My favorite part of the tour was the people,” said Cummins. “Everyone really got to know each other and we are very supportive of each other.” After each concert, the choir participated in what they called “circle time.” Each member would hold hands and reflect on things, laugh, and share favorite moments. Cummins said, “There was a real sense of unity and a great atmosphere overall on the trip.”