Choir program weathers storm, charts new course for successful spring trip

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Brian Harward staff writer

The spring Madrigals trip took an unexpected turn this year: the Madrigals were supposed to compete in the American Choral Directors of America (ACDA) in Minnesota from April 12 to 17. However, the event was cancelled due to inclement weather. Despite the changes, choir made the most of their time, visiting and learning from the choir programs at University of Minnesota, St. Olaf College and Bethel University.

Senior choir member Taylor Asla believes that the choir program still got a lot out of the trip despite the sudden change of plans.

“I think that there was really nothing we could do about the weather and the festival being cancelled,” Asla said. “It gave us even more opportunities to work with some of the composers of our pieces and learn from professors we wouldn’t have worked with had the festival gone as planned.”

Madrigals director Stacey Kikkawa found out about the cancellation of the festival, which was to begin in the afternoon of Sunday, April 15, at 7 a.m. on that day. Although she had an itinerary planned, help from a connection named Tesfa Wondemagegnehu gave the Madrigals a full day of activities. Tesfa met the Madrigals during their trip to Carnegie Hall in 2016, and he proved to be an invaluable connection for this trip.

“Tesfa was just so generous with his time,” Kikkawa said. “He dropped everything, and with his connections in the Twin Cities we were able to create, on the fly, a good day. You can never replace a festival, but I think what we did created more musical moments, we got an extra clinic at University of Minnesota and did some musical meditation to end the day.”

Although the unexpected cancellation was not the ideal situation, senior choir president Daniel Kohanbash believes the odd turn of events brought the program together.

“I think the trip really brought everyone closer together than ever,” Kohanbash said. “There were many trying moments throughout the duration of the trip, and we made the best of them by just being there for each other.”

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