Grove City College Touring Choir will stop at College Baptist in Hillsdale for a free performance at 7 p.m. Feb. 27. The choir will travel across the country, across genres, and across centuries as part of their annual spring break tour, performing pieces as diverse as Palestrina, a Brahms requiem, and Moses Hogan.
“We span all of choir history,” Grove City College senior and choir member Rachel Kurak said, with selections mostly in Latin and English, including adaptations of classic hymns like “Praise to the Lord the Almighty” and “I Need Thee Every Hour.”
Hillsdale assistant professor of music Derek Stauff, an alumnus of Grove City College and the choir, was instrumental in coordinating the visit, which is a small-town stop on their trip to and from Chicago.
“They generally head to a particular city every spring for their tour, go to a particular region of the country,” Stauff said. “It turned out they were looking for northern Indiana or southern Michigan on their way to Chicago and I said sure.”
Stauff then began calling up local churches to find housing for all 45 students.
“A lot of the host churches on the tour will be churches of choir members cause that’s an easy connection and they’re family already,” Stauff said. “Others will be like us here — alumni connections and people that are friends of the college.”
The choir performs at a different church almost every night of the week-and-a-half-long tour, Kurak said.
“It’s a lot of fun, and it’s also really cool to get to stay with host homes,” Kurak said. “It really shows Christian hospitality. These complete strangers opening up their homes and we get fed really well usually on tour.”
According to Stauff, the concert is a win-win situation for all who enjoy the Grove City choir’s music.
“They come and do the concert for us, we provide them with a meal and housing for the night, take in a couple students per family, and then they’re on their way next morning to their next concert,” Stauff said.