NWC choir to tour in Europe over spring break

Northwestern College’s A cappella Choir is finalizing plans for its spring break tour of the Czech Republic, Austria and Poland March 6–14.

The 70-member ensemble will present several public concerts and minister through music, testimony and drama at children’s and senior citizens’ homes. The tour, coordinated through Youth for Christ, includes singing as part of a Sunday morning worship service at the Salzburg Cathedral, where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his father were employed.

“This is a great opportunity to work alongside, sing for and share with people who are in many ways like us, but in many ways have very little hope,” says Dr. Thomas Holm, associate professor of music and conductor of the A cappella Choir. “I think it will expand our understanding of God and the world in which we live.

 “The tour gives students the chance to experience another culture in the context of using our gifts to praise the Lord and share our faith. They will also benefit from having the opportunity to perform music in spaces for which it was composed. For example, we sing Palestrina motets that were created for a space of five-second reverberation, which we will experience in European cathedrals. When we performed there in 2004, students said, ‘Wow, that’s why it’s written this way!’”

The choir’s repertoire also includes Czech folk music and works by Czech composer Antonin Dvorák, as well as other well-known European composers. The ensemble also will perform a large selection of American music, including sacred and secular pieces.

The trip will include time for sightseeing in Salzburg and tours of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Students are paying half of the cost of the trip, $800 per person, and each is seeking an additional $500 in support from family, friends and churches. “With all the prayer and financial support we are receiving, this will be a great collaboration of a lot of people—it’s much bigger than the choir,” says Holm. “We are excited to see how God will expand our worldviews and touch lives through us.”