After performing at Cairn’s spring commencement on May 7, the Cairn University Chorale traveled on its annual tour on May 8–15, 2016. They were accompanied by Dr. David Shockey (Chorale conductor and chair of voice studies) and Abbie Mulhern (music recruitment and events coordinator). Visiting various schools and churches in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, the Chorale performed in concert for ministry, recruitment, and educational purposes.
Each performance venue on the tour represented a significant relationship. Some of the locations chosen were based on established relationships with the University, while others were schools that Chorale students had previously attended. Throughout the tour, the Chorale had the opportunity to meet and engage with 11 alumni, including former Chorale member Jon Bauman ’14. The Chorale also met Chuck Betters, a pastor who had participated in the 21st Annual Golf Classic that took place just a few days prior; board member Joe Kempf at his home church in Bryn Mawr; and over 500 high school students at various venues.
This year’s musical selection included Richard Nance’s Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God; Terre Johnson’s Come, Ye Disconsolate; Dan Forrest’s setting of Charles Wesley’s Arise, My Soul, Arise; Kim Arnesen’s Even When He Is Silent; and Robert Browning’s God, Thou Art Love (also the title of this year’s tour), set by Cairn friend and world-renowned composer Craig Courtney.
The tour included a Messiah Sing-In on Cairn’s campus, in which members of the community joined Mr. Kevin Dibble (adjunct professor) for an afternoon relishing Handel’s incredible work. Student soloists were featured as a part of the event, providing community members with a glimpse of what Cairn music majors are doing and the quality of music education they are receiving.
After visits to four churches and four schools, as well as two performances on Cairn’s campus, the tour ended with a visit to Cairn President Dr. Todd William’s house. Throughout their tour, the Chorale had also taken recreational trips to Hershey’s Chocolate World, Longwood Gardens, and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. In addition, the Chorale enjoyed many movie nights, barbecues, and game nights at the homes of Cairn staff and faculty, as well as daily devotionals led by Cairn faculty members. The Chorale’s annual tour was not only a time of blessing others through musical excellence and sharing the impact of Cairn University’s academic programs, but also a great time of fun and fellowship for the Chorale singers.