Choir Completes European Concert Tour

Doane Choir in EuropeMembers of the Doane College choir completed a concert tour of Germany, Austria, and Italy May 21-June 6, providing European audiences with new perspectives as well as great musical performances.  Led by Dr. Kurt Runestad, director of choral activities at Doane, the 41-member choir performed in some of the world's most celebrated concert venues.   

Despite any language barriers, the audiences were highly enthusiastic.  Some listeners commented that the students went beyond music to true international outreach.   

"You are not only ambassadors in respect to music, you are also ambassadors of your country to a very high degree," said one German listener after the choir received a standing ovation-something less common in Europe than in the U.S.  Others at the concert at the Church of St. Michael in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany, commented that the Doane Choir showed them "the other America"-one the audience could glimpse "with different eyes" and see "a land of culture."   Among those giving the standing ovation were host families that had welcomed the Doane students into their homes for two days.

According to Professor Peter Reinkordt, one of the faculty sponsors for the tour, "We came, we sang, and we convinced.  We acted as mediators between cultures, respecting European music, performing it in the halls and cathedrals that the pieces were written for, but also bringing to European listeners our own classical liturgical music."  These included American spirituals and folk tunes among the sacred and secular works.

Another high point for the students was their one-hour concert of sacred music in the Peterskirche, the oldest church in Vienna and a jewel of Baroque architecture.  Their performance was part of Vienna's "Langen Nacht der Kirchen," an annual celebration among churches which includes choir performances, organ recitals, and lectures about each church's history.   The Peterskirche, normally seating about 400 people, was jammed for the Doane Choir concert with as many as 800-to-1,000 listeners.  

In Venice, the choir was allowed to participate in the Sunday noon mass at beautiful St. Mark's, where a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church performed the high office.  The students sang five pieces, again a mix of European and American sacred music, and they skillfully managed the transitions from liturgy to song under Runestad's direction.  At the conclusion of the formal service, the Cardinal smiled and signaled his approval with applause toward the choir.  

At the Duomo Cathedral in Milan, Italy, the Doane Choir was joined by guest conductor Dr. Cornell Runestad, professor emeritus of Wayne State College and the father of Doane's director Kurt Runestad.

Participating students include:
Sarah Adams, Ogallala
Andrew Barber, Crete
Rebecca Brewer, Columbus
Christopher Cassiday, Chadron
Elsie Cook, Omaha
Julie Couton, Wahoo
Todd Depue, Columbus
Elizabeth Doane, St. Cloud, Minn.
Anne Dutcher, Waukee, Iowa
Kathleen Dutcher, Waukee, Iowa
Jennifer Ebke, Crete
Danielle Erdkamp, Exeter
Heidi Fischer, Nemaha
Margaret Frei, Potter
Philip Hamilton, Lincoln
Kylee Haring, Naponee
Samuel Henline, North Platte
Jacob Hoffman, Bayard
Allison Huenemann, Minden
Kirsten Jergensen, North Platte
Emily Jones, Lincoln
Danielle Kimble, Broken Bow
Elizabeth Kuskie, Chadron
Ashley Lidgett, Omaha
Joshua Morphew, Maxwell
Jordan Pohlmann, Deshler
Joshua Pohlmann, Deshler
Michael Prokop, Crete
Brelynn Puckett, Pender
Micah Reeves, Gothenburg
Mary Reimers, Boelus
Chandler Rickers, Beatrice
Robert Rickert, Geneva
Trevor Rosenberger, Crete
Aaron Roth, Wood River
Brianna Schreiner, Lorton, Va.
Micah Spurlock, Omaha
Seth Strouf, Swanton
Blake Tobey, Maxwell
Sarah Ward, Centerville, S.D.                                                                                         
Nathaniel Zwick, Columbus

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