But Seriously, Music

There’s Honey in the Rock (really!!)

David Hume, metaphysics, and empiricism have thoroughly confused my mind, so I’m breaking to blog a minute. I could break to work on sightsinging…but blogging is more fun. Plus, my voice is dead. How dead, you ask? 100%, seriously. I don’t think I could sing another note if you paid me. (Though, depending on how much you were offering, I might give you a really good try.) “Wait,” I hear you asking. “Why is your voice 100% dead? Have you contracted some sort of plague from your RA? Did you spend an entire afternoon yelling at one of those sporting event things? Did you accidentally eat an entire jar of peanut butter and so your throat is sticking together?” While I will grant that those are quite admirable guesses, they are, in actuality, incorrect. My RA, though having experienced diseases in a previous life, was gracious enough never to pass them on to me; I don’t even know what those sporting event things you speak of are; and I haven’t had any peanut butter in a long time. No, my voice is dead for quite another reason: I, along with 34 other ABC students, just finished 14 choral concerts over the course of the past 11 days. We sang selections from a repertoire of 15 songs at 9 churches and 5 schools in 4 states and 2 zones, and ate approximately 500 chocolate chip cookies and 9 ham sandwiches.

How do I sum up chorale tour? Goodness. From highs to lows, from blessings to struggles, it was an exhausting, wonderful, crazy, fun, beautiful, terrific ten days. Ten? Eleven? I don’t know. The time changed a few times. Basically, though, it can be summer up in food, friends, and something that means “music” but starts with f.


You already know about the chocolate chip cookies, which are most important. We also ate ice cream with chopsticks, sampled free Ghiradelli chocolate, discovered the difference between tacos and the rest of that Mexican stuff, ate something called a “Crunchy Wrap,” enjoyed real bacon, and drank coffee black–and, I must admit, liked it!–for the first time in our lives. And by “we,” I mean “I.” Seriously. Who else eats ice cream with chopsticks?!


Both old and new. Old friends included some of my favorite people like Katie, Samantha, and Megan; new friends included other chorale members I don’t get to hang out with much normal school days, as well as all the wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ who welcomed us into their churches and homes.

Friend-wise, this was such a blast. I got to stand between Samantha and Micah every concert, which made for some interesting vocal warm ups. Cucumbers…heh. Micah offered to save my life if I accidentally fell off the risers, but the one time I almost did he didn’t even try to save me. I got to stay in host homes almost every night with Anna, Emma, Janelle, and/or Brittany, which was just delightfully fun. I discovered that Jenny “lives for lava lamps,” to quote herself. I wandered around Chicago with Katie, Megan, Samantha, Tim, Trevor, and Micah, pretending to not be poor college students in Tiffany’s and not pretending to be responsible adults in the Disney store. I saw Stacey’s first reaction to Mary Poppins, learned valuable life lessons on fishing for men with the aforementioned Shmatha, Megan, and Katie, attended the surprise birthday party of someone I didn’t know, and watched Orin and Eric try to play pingpong. I met Leah’s brother Hubert and took ooglay photos with him. I met someone  else named after Berea. I rode in a convertible and told ridiculous Christian pickup lines on the bus. I played glow-in-the-dark mini golf with Katie, Ethan, and Tim. I did not win glow-in-the-dark mini golf with Katie, Ethan, and Tim. I learned interesting things about my face. I lost Dutch Blitz. I learned that the name “Orin” sounds remarkable like “Orange.” I almost got lost looking for garbage bags with Samantha. I found the baptistry (a perfect place for gargoyle imitation with Anna, as it happens) putting away the vacuum. I taught the potato face to Matthew and was commissioned to be his flower girl September of 2015. I discovered that Tyler never forgets a tenor joke and Elisabeth brushes hair the best. I learned all about Taco Bell from Ali and all about the joys of being single from Carolyn. I discussed awkward chicken with Zack. I found out that Isaiah is excellent at redirecting conversation, that Eric is spectacular at maintaining a tremble while laying on an alter, that Ben has been super impacted by that guy at the birthday party, and that “inadequacy” is apparently always an OK thing to say. I made ugly faces every. stinkin. time. Jose got his camera out. Maybe I do have some sort of disease.

Some mornings were really early, and on those mornings death came out my eyes.
Some mornings were really early, and on those mornings death came out my eyes.
Megan, Samantha, me, and Katie :)
Megan, Samantha, me, and Katie 🙂
Maybe this time I will hit ALL the chords!
Maybe this time I will hit ALL the chords!
Step no. 1: Look for opportunities.
Step no. 1: Look for opportunities.
Jose, Samantha, Carolyn, Matthew, Hannah, Katie, Spencer, Ali and I on top of Chicago!
Jose, Samantha, Carolyn, Matthew, Hannah, Katie, Spencer, Ali and I on top of Chicago!
I like warm hugs!
I like warm hugs!

*photos courtesy of Megan and Katie

Fellowship-wise, it was super encouraging. People who had never met us before and will probably never met us again welcomed us into their church, gave us food, took us to their homes, stayed out late and got up ridiculously early to drive us where we needed to be, gave up more food, did our laundry, prayed for us, and let us hold their babies. They shared their stories with us, laughed with us, and listened to us. They blessed us probably more than we blessed them. And when I say “probably,” I mean “definitely.” Thanks.

Something that means music and begins with f

Trying to play violin with two flat strings. Accompanying Brittany’s solo. “Oooohing” while Micah sang “I Go to the Rock.” Having a surprise mini concert on the 94th floor of the Hancock Observatory. Figuring out exactly when the pastor wants me to play an offertory. Accidentally standing behind the altos. Singing the Hallelujah chorus. Always being confused about how that tritone is supposed to sound. Never getting tired of the same songs over and over, because God somehow kept them new and fresh and beautiful. Whether we were singing about the refuge we have in Christ, the wonder of our Savior, the worthiness of the Lamb, our home in heaven, or God’s amazing love, each time I felt too weary and grumpy to do another concert, God made the songs real to me again and gave me the will to smile and sing one more time.

How do I sum up chorale tour? I don’t know. Maybe like this.

It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
to declare Your steadfast love in the morning,
and Your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
For You, LORD, have me glad by Your work;
at the works of Your hands I sing for joy.”

Psalm 92:1-4, ESV


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