Every year, Vanguard’s Concert Choir goes on tour in the spring. The tour generates revenue for the school and spreads a good name for the university. While members say that it can be exhausting, they agree that tour is loads of fun.
This year, for the first time in almost a decade, Vanguard’s Orchestra is teaming with Concert Choir for the tour.
Over spring break, the duo-ensemble made its way up the coast, performing an average of two concerts a day. By the end of the week, they performed at 9 venues, including a handful of Christian charter schools, a Russian Orthodox church, and several of the students’ home churches.
“I really like having choir and orchestra together. It makes it easier on all of us.” says senior Tyler Wolsten.
Having the Orchestra on tour has benefited choir members immensely. Choir normally must sing a one to two hour concert by themselves. Two concerts a day can become difficult with the addition of heavy travel and little sleep. However, with the addition of the Concert Orchestra, choir members can rest easy.
The Orchestra has enjoyed touring in the duo-ensemble as well.
“I love it,” says sophomore Christopher Lucas. “It gives me something productive to do, and it’s great to get to hang out with my friends from concert choir and orchestra together.”
Lucas was a part of Concert Choir during his freshmen year, but now enjoys playing the oboe and the English horn for the Orchestra. As a skilled singer and a member of Vanguard Singers and Band (or VSB), Lucas says it is important to have the choir’s vocals and the orchestra’s instrumentation work together.
“Combining the choir and orchestra creates a fuller sound. It’s gets the audience more involved and into worship.”
Above musical excellence, leaders of the tour stress the value of performing with a sincere heart. When given the opportunity, senior JD Kilmer, President of Concert Choir, likes to lead the two groups together in worship before concerts. With nothing but an acoustic guitar, JD worships with the ensemble of 108 members.
“Worship unites our spirits as a choir, and really shows where our focus is” he says. “We’re not touring just to perform, but to bring truth and life to people through music.”
The ensemble performed at multiple venues from Manteca to San Francisco, stopping at churches of various denominations.
In Roseville, the group was greatly received by a Russian Orthodox church where freshman Sonya Westcott’s grandfather serves as the head of the church. The orchestra and choir members loved the experience. Even though it was Westcott’s first time at her grandfather’s church, she felt more than welcome.
The combination of orchestra and choir was a success. The orchestra’s music excelled with the lyrical accompaniment provided by the choir. In turn, the choir could not be more thankful for the orchestra’s instrumentation. With the success of this year’s tour, the ensembles look forward to working together soon.