Opinion: Chapel Choir’s field trips

I still remember the last day of Concordia Chapel Choir rehearsal in 2020. It was Friday, Mar. 13, and we were supposed to go on tour the following Thursday. We sang a few songs from our tour set, hoping to end the week on a positive note. We were going into the weekend unsure if we would still be touring. As it turned out, we would not even make it to Monday. 

Now, here we are, two years later. We have a new director, and we are away from campus today on our tour. The thing is, we will be back later tonight, and we will do the same thing tomorrow. 

I feel let down by the choral administration. 

I do not want the administration to tell me there are pandemic-related reasons why we cannot do an overnight tour. Other ensembles have gone on tours this year when COVID cases and death rates were higher than they are now in both the Fargo-Moorhead area and in the U.S. 

The reason we cannot go back to our regular tour while other ensembles are is, in the eyes of the administration, we are worth less than flagship ensembles. 

We will not visit any national parks or beaches. We will not stay in hotels, we will not do any homestays and we will probably spend more time on a bus than anywhere else.

In the halls where echoes of a promised non-hierarchical choir program resound, I feel we as a non-flagship ensemble are brushed aside. Our tour would not go anywhere outside the Midwest in a pre-pandemic year, and I have no gripes about that or the fact our tour is only four days. I knew what I was signing up for. 

There have continually been decisions made that put the Concordia Choir above other ensembles. The music administration and the Director of Choral Activities privilege the Concordia Choir above other choral ensembles. I feel the Concordia Choir is even placed above other flagship ensembles whose semiannual tours are only one week compared to the Concordia Choir’s annual two-week tour.

What bothers me is we will bus back and forth from Concordia for our field trips while other ensembles enjoy hotels and homestays for their tours. The Concordia Choir flew to the Southwestern U.S. for their two-week tour while we are not allowed to spend a night away from our beds. 

I am very grateful for the opportunity I have to tour as a member of the Chapel Choir; Concordia’s Kantorei choir does not even get one. I understand the Concordia Choir has more donors giving more money than the Chapel Choir or Kantorei does. What I do not understand is how the Concordia Choir can receive such treatment by the choral administration while we are told there is no hierarchy.

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