When it comes to meeting Hamiltonians of all ages, there’s nothing quite like the annual spring Choir Tour. This week I’m meeting — and staying in the homes of — alumni ranging from the Class of 1949 to the Class of 2010 as well as parents of alumni across four decades.
The week of daily eight-hour bus rides and more fast food than I want to eat for the rest of the year is providing us choirlings with a chance not only to get to know other members of our ensemble better, but also to form lifelong friendships with Hamilton alumni from Burlington to Charleston.
As Choir Tour manager, my job has been to make it all happen. Working from the Hill with Director of Choral Music G. Roberts Kolb and Director of Alumni Relations Sharon Rippey P’12, I have been in touch with former Choir members throughout the country who are now church music directors. With their input I have chosen the tour’s destinations, secured the venues for our performances, found housing for the 60 Choir members in the homes of alumni, parents and friends of the College, and advertised the concerts to Hamiltonians and the public. I have also been doing radio interviews — a first this year — to help publicize the appearances.
Choir Tour means not only bonding with fellow students and long-graduated Hamiltonians, but also having a chance to travel to cities we might not otherwise ever visit, to fill churches (sometimes packed, sometimes nearly empty) with music we’ve rehearsed (sometimes for six months, sometimes for two weeks) and, at least for me, to witness firsthand the ineffable feeling of community that comes from having shared a few years of our lives on the same hilltop in Central New York.