Monmouth / About the College / News / Full Story

Chorale to sing in major Texas cities March 2-9

Barry McNamara
MONMOUTH, Ill. – The Monmouth College Chorale will shake the bonds of a harsh Midwest winter when it travels to Texas March 2-9 on its annual performance tour.

In addition to performances at churches in Denton, Austin and Houston, the Chorale will sing at some notable landmarks in the Lone Star state.

“We will perform informally at the Open-Air Rotunda at the State Capitol Building in Austin, after having a guided tour of the building,” said the ensemble’s director, Associate Professor of Music Tim Pahel.

The Chorale will also do some sightseeing in San Antonio, touring the Alamo and singing songs there and at the city’s famous River Walk.

The group will also sing in Dallas while visiting former Monmouth professor Zach Erwin, who is now teaching at his alma mater, St. Mark’s School of Texas.

“We’ll perform for their older boys’ choir and they will sing for us as well,” said Pahel. “Each place we go, we will of course perform the College hymn, ‘A Flame of White and Crimson.’”

Each of the nights that the Chorale presents a church concert, church members will provide dinner, host families for the students’ overnight stay, and the next day’s breakfast.

“The students are very excited about the tour, and not just because we hope to escape the winter weather for a week,” said Pahel. “We always grow enormously as a group by spending this time together. We become a better choir because we rehearse and perform the same program several times, and the students bond and really start forming deep connections with others in the group. Chorale students often say that their best memories at Monmouth have been on choir tours.”

After returning to Monmouth, the Chorale will present its tour concert at 7:30 p.m. March 15 in the Kasch Performance Hall of Dahl Chapel and Auditorium.

The highly selective, 33-member Chorale maintains an active and demanding rehearsal and performance schedule. In addition to serving as centerpiece for the annual “Christmas at Monmouth” concert, it performs regularly both on and off campus. The Chorale engages students from nearly every major at Monmouth, giving its members well-rounded musical experiences with high expectations for performance and competency.

The Chorale has toured extensively, visiting nearly half the states in the country, including a performance in New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 2017. The Chorale also tours internationally, including a recent trip to Italy, where the group performed at the Vatican. The Chorale will perform in Salzburg, Vienna and Prague on its spring break tour in Europe in 2020.

Pahel holds a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University, a master’s degree from the University of Illinois and a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Iowa, where he studied conducting with the internationally renowned Dr. Timothy Stalter.