Choir disappointed that once in a lifetime trip canceled by COVID-19

In March during Spring break, the LCCC Cantorei was set to perform for the Choirs of America at the Lincoln Center in New York City. Just a couple days before they left, administrators reluctantly canceled the trip as news reports began to surface of the infection ravaging the famous city.

This trip was supposed to be a once in a lifetime opportunity, and while there Beth Kean, in her fifth year as director of the choir, had hoped that her students would build stronger bonds with each other and create new friendships.

“The bonds and friendships that form are truly remarkable, and I was hoping to bring that back with us to help continue to unite us,” Kean said. “As I reflect on my collegiate experience, it always comes back to the friendships and bonds that I made with people in my ensembles.  Some of my best friends and memories came from the trips we took, and I was hoping to provide that experience for my students as well.”

That exposure was one of the reasons why the choir was going to NYC, Kean said. You can’t replicate that experience in a classroom. 

In February Kean got an invitation by the Choirs of America to perform at the Lincoln Center. Students had to audition for Cantorei before the start of the school year, and 17 students made it and used New York as motivation to work hard.

That also meant a lot of fundraising at Chili’s and Culvers and a Christmas raffle for the music department. The students also worked hard to save their own money to go on the trip, and they practiced “Jubilate Deo” so much that they now have the 45-minute piece memorized.

The composer, Dan Forrest, and conductor Sandra Snow would have led the students with a professional choir and full orchestra.

“The students would have had a great musical and emotional understanding of the masterwork, but they also would have had the opportunity to meet and learn from the composer himself,” Kean said. 

Ingrid Taylor is a full-time sophomore graduating this May with her associates in music. “I had put in hours of my own time practicing my own part so that I could be that much more prepared and stronger in the music,” Taylor said.

While Taylor is happy that she isn’t sick and is safe at home, she still feels disappointed that the choir won’t have the opportunity.

“This trip would have been a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said, “and it is unfortunate that it didn’t happen.”

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