Every spring the Maryville College Concert Choir embarks on a special adventure to share the gift of music with all different kinds of people. One year the concert choir went to Washington D.C., and other years we found our way to both North and South Carolina. Each year the choir goes somewhere different, and every four years we travel abroad to the beautiful country of Scotland.
This year we decided to travel a little closer to home. We decided to take a Tennessee Tour around all over the different parts of Tennessee. We traveled to big cities such as Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis. We also found ourselves in smaller rural areas such as Pikeville and Tullahoma.
We began our trip with the traditional send-off concert, which was located in the William Baxter Lee Foyer of the Clayton Center for the Arts. We then hopped on a bus to travel over to Shannondale Assisted Living in Knoxville to sing to some senior residents. After our second performance, we hopped on the bus once more to begin our trip to our first church stop in Pikeville. While on choir tour, many members stay with families during what is known as a homestay. These are organized ahead of time, and choir members have a new homestay with each place we visit.
During our second day, we performed a small selection of our concert at a small school in Pikeville called Bledsoe County High School, and we then traveled to Nashville. We performed our full concert set at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville. The next day, we took the time to perform another small set at Centennial High School in Franklin, Tennessee. While in both Nashville and Franklin, the choir had the chance to stay and explore the towns. We visited the Parthenon in Nashville and ate brunch in Franklin.
During the third day, we traveled to Tullahoma and performed for First Presbyterian Church. On the fourth day, we traveled to Memphis and performed at Idlewild Presbyterian Church. While in Memphis, we visited the Civil Rights Museum, which was a life-changing experience that I cannot wait to go see again. After staying with homestays and performing our hearts out, we decided to take a day for ourselves on our last day of tour and stayed at a retreat center in Middle Tennessee called NaCoMe Retreat Center.
Choir Tour is not just a time where the choir goes off and sings some pretty songs. We work hard to touch people’s hearts in ways they may never have been touched before. Our director Stacy Wilner tells us before almost every concert, “this could be the very first or very last time a person hears us sing.” Through this, she encourages us to sing each song with raw emotion for every concert and every crowd. You just never know who you touch or influence with your actions. I believe the Maryville College Concert Choir positively influences people’s lives on a daily basis, and choir tour is an example of us doing just that.
If you have questions about joining the Maryville College Concert Choir or want more information about our recent tour, contact Stacey Wilner at [email protected].