In May, members of Drake Choir will travel to Latvia, Estonia and Finland on their international tour. Before this can take place, however, the choir needs to raise enough money to fund this trip.
The choir held a benefit concert on Saturday to raise money for their overseas adventure. Money from ticket sales and free-will offerings at the concert was collected.
The choir had hoped to raise a total of $6,000 from the concert to put toward the trip, but members of the choir stressed that they would appreciate donations at any time before the tour begins at the end of May.
The choir tours internationally every four years to sing with different institutions, meet composers and musicians, or do exchanges with different choirs.
Director Dr. Aimee Beckmann-Collier has toured all over Europe in her time at Drake, including visits to Italy, Germany and England.
Junior Nathan Jacobson explained why she does international tours.
“She wants not only to expose Drake and its choirs to various parts of the world, but also her students,” Jacobson said. “One special part of going to Latvia especially is that we have the chance to work with a world-renowned Latvian composer on one of his pieces, which will be a very special experience.”
Two years ago, Jacobson traveled to England with the Chamber Choir and explained the value of traveling to other countries in the name of song.
“Not only am I able to explore places that I have never been before, I get to add extra layers of richness to this experience because along the way I am making beautiful music with those I am incredibly close with and those I have never met before,” Jacobson said. “The cross-cultural communication is incredible, and I greatly valued this component of my previous international trip. It is so much fun to travel around the world with great friends and see and do things you couldn’t do anywhere else.”
Junior Jess Richter said that her involvement in choir gives her opportunities she can’t experience anywhere else.
“Without this opportunity, I would have never been able to travel during my college experience,” Richter said. “Being a music business major, it’s harder to get the chance to go abroad or experience the world outside of my college bubble. I am so grateful to Drake Choir and the university for giving me the chance to experience other parts of the world, while connecting to it through the mutual passion for music.”
Both Jacobson and Richter expressed their gratitude for the support from their peers and the community.
“The Drake Choir is the only group on this campus that brings such a large and diverse group of people together who are bound to all have one thing in common – music,” Richter said. “(The concert) goes to show how this group has impacted people’s lives for years. The alumni of this group who have all gone on to be doctors, accountants, or performers, all at one point held this group to be somewhat of a second family. It means everything for our family, friends, and the Drake Community to support the gift of music that we present together.”
“It means an incredible amount to Drake Choir to see our work supported and appreciated,” Jacobson said. “Making music is not for the performer, even though the performer gains a lot from it, but is meant to be shared with others.”