A capella says “auf wiedersehen” for J-term

Hamline’s A Capella Choir will be taking a J-term tour to three European countries.

Kelly Holm, Senior Reporter

For some in the Hamline community, J-term will mean rest and relaxation from academics. For others, it will mean taking a four-credit class in just three weeks. For the A Capella Choir, however, it entails a trip around Europe.

From Jan. 4-16, Hamline’s A Capella Choir and their director, Dr. George Chu, will visit Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. While there, they will perform the music they have been preparing  all semester, stay with host families and take in the culture. Three choir members, all of them juniors, shared what the trip would mean to them.

“We’re singing a bunch of German pieces, along with I think some Latin. We’re doing a whole… different array of music,” Kiira Christopherson said.

Christopherson spoke of the kinship she feels with her fellow choir members, stating that she believes the tour will give the group the opportunity to become even closer to one another, and said she looks forward to new cultural experiences as well.

“This is my first time ever going abroad, so it’s really cool to experience it with people that I enjoy being around every day,” Christopherson said. “A lot of the choir members that are here already do speak German, and we have quite a few people who are very knowledgeable on the culture over there, so being able to learn from them… will be really rewarding for me.”

Ted Tiedemann said that getting a break from the United States is a major source of excitement for him.

“I’m hoping to just have a good time, and sing some music with good friends,” Tiedemann said. “We’re doing a drinking song called ‘Wassail’… That’ll be really popular with the people.”

Autumn Vagle, who is in charge of the choir’s fundraising, reflected on the success they had with the Power of One Day fundraiser, in which the choir accumulated $5000 in trip funds. An earlier fundraiser effort this semester involved a doggie kissing booth.

“That, we didn’t make as much money,” Vagle said.

Vagle said the most exciting aspect of the tour for her will be getting to see the site in Austria where The Sound of Music was filmed.

Overall, Dr. Chu was optimistic about the trip.

“It’s going to be a fantastic concert tour,” Chu said.