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Tour Choir soaks up sun and sand
March 23, 2012
By Aliza Davner
Editor in Chief/ Lycourier
While some students look forward to spring break as a time of rest and relaxation at home, the Lycoming College Tour Choir took a working vacation, traveling and performing through Southern California.
A 40-piece group under the direction of Dr. Fred Thayer, professor of music and choir director, the Tour Choir began rehearsing after Thanksgiving.
The tour season consists of two weekend tours and a longer trip over break. The choir remained local for the first weekend tour, performing in Port Treverton, Lewisburg and Muncy. The second weekend tour included concerts in Easton, Quakertown and North Wales.
The choir kicked off its spring break tour in Ivyland on March 9. Members then flew to Los Angeles for a 10-day tour. Tour stops included: Westwood, Torrance, Santa Barbara, Camarillo, San Diego and Encinidas.
The choir performed in various churches throughout Southern California, staying with host families overnight.
Members had free time to explore, including a driving tour through Beverly Hills.
Sights included the Hollywood Sign, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Kodak Theater and Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
Other stops included Redondo Beach, Venice Beach, Coronado Island, La Jolla Cove and Mission Beach. Choir members visited the San Diego Mission and toured the Santa Barbara Courthouse, built in the 1920s.
Members also visited the Hotel Del Coronado, the oldest building in the area built out of wood.
Photo provided by Todd HartsockTour choir seniors stop for a group photo at La Jolla Cove, Calif., during its spring break tour. The tour choir performed in churches in various Southern California cities throughout a 10-day period. This year’s seniors include, standing from left: Brittany Freeman, Emily Kelchner, David Wentzel, David Surmick, Corey Fischer, Emily Stinemire, Aliza Davner, Brandy Hale and Kayla Sassaman. Kneeling is Chase Mack.
The hotel is famous as a favorite spot of President John F. Kennedy and as the setting for the Marilyn Monroe film “Some Like It Hot.”
The choir visited Solvang, a quaint Dutch town, where members sampled local pastries and explored small gift shops. Several members toured the Saint Ines Mission, located right outside town.
The last day of the tour was spent in San Diego, where choir members took in attractions such as the San Diego Zoo and the Natural History Museum.
Members of Tour Choir are selected by audition from the 120-person Lycoming College Full Choir.
The group’s repertoire is based around the theme “200 Years of Music,” in collaboration with Lycoming College’s ongoing bicentennial celebration.
Song selections included a variety of spiritual and secular pieces ranging from familiar patriotic tunes such as “America the Beautiful” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” to African-American Spirituals, including “Ezekiel Saw de Wheel,” “Deep River” and “Go Where I Send Thee.”
The choir performed “Ayiti Manman Cherie,” a Haitian piece arranged by choir accompanist Lee Saville-Andre. The piece is performed in a Creole dialect.
Proceeds from the sale of sheet music for this piece will be sent to the non-profit organization Hope in Harmony. This organization uses the proceeds to build a vocational school in Haiti.
The Tour Choir ended its season on Wednesday with a Homecoming Concert held in Clarke Chapel. On graduation weekend the tour choir join with the Lycoming College Chamber Choir and Full Choir for the last performance by the seniors.