Chorale students practice for upcoming summer tour


Camille Torrente

The chorale rehearses in the Music Recital Hall

Josiah Brown, Features Editor

How a Christian chooses to spend their time reveals the value they place in their hobbies and also shows how much they value ministry. Students in The Master’s Chorale spend their time doing both which requires a dedication to singing and to ministry.

The chorale, which has been conducted by Dr. Paul Plew since 1979, meets twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:10 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. In addition to those hours, chorale also meets an hour a week on Friday with their section: soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. Each student in chorale practices a total of four hours a week excluding individual practice hours.

“Any time invested into practice is worth it,” says Matthew Noel, a sophomore music major who has been in chorale since his freshman year. “The more you know your music, the more Dr. Plew can work with us and make us have a better sound and the sound he wants.”

Getting that sound is a time-consuming process. It requires more than an understanding of singing solo. It also requires knowledge about singing within a group of over fifty students.

“I thought I could sing, but there’s a lot more involved than just singing,” Jacob Hokanson, a sophomore computer science major, says. “Technique with a choir is different. You can have your own note be correct, but everybody else has to be in exactly the same place as you are, so you have to be really in the center of it. You can’t be too loud or too quiet, but you also have to have the same texture from your posture and your face.”

The amount of work that goes into chorale can be time-consuming and tiring.

“It feels like a lot of work when I’m in rehearsal, cause it gets to feeling long and repetitive because we’re perfecting these songs,” says Arianna Sonnenburg, a freshman music major. “In rehearsals, it gets to be tiring, and you do give a lot because that’s what it calls for if we’re doing excellently. I’ll find myself kind of exhausted afterward.”

Chorale practices and performances can occasionally result in less downtime for students as well.

“I’ve missed a couple on-campus activities, but honestly, I would rather be at a concert singing because that’s what I enjoy doing,” Noel says. “We make the concerts so enjoyable for ourselves, and Dr, Plew makes them enjoyable. We don’t care about what we’re missing but about what we’re doing. I’m here, I’m doing this for the Lord, and I need to give this my full attention.”

Despite the demanding nature of chorale, students that are part of the program find the end result satisfying.

“I enjoy doing it, so it’s never a drudgery to get me to go to a performance,” Sonnenburg says. “Part of the reason I like going is that I like hanging out with the people there. Serving a church together is something that is different than just hanging out with someone, so I think there is a special connection that the chorale gets to have because we’re doing ministry together.

Other students agree with the importance of chorale as a ministry.

“It’s basically outreach just like a GO trip or other ministries here,” Noel says. “We’re not only performing for other people, but we’re performing for Christ so we need to do it to the best of our ability.”