Why do we tour?
by Tyler Wigglesworth, WCHS Choral Director
Over my many years of working with, singing in, and conducting different choral ensembles I am convinced that some of my most cherished memories in the music realm have been made on choir tours--both ones that I have lead and ones that I went on as a student. There is something truly magical that occurs when a choral ensemble tours together; the ensemble begins to unify, trust and sing in a way that only "time on the road" will allow. Furthermore, I notice that singers who participate in tours undergo individual growth as a result; I have seen singers mature and develop into leaders and become well-rounded individuals over the course of a tour. The experience, the people, the opportunities to share one's craft with others---all of these things deeply change a person and have significant impact on their lives. It is my hope that through our Northern California Tour our singers will see some of the same results.
In addition to the many personal and ensemble-wide benefits that come from a tour, it is immensely powerful to be able to share music with audiences that do not normally have a chance to hear your music. I remember very vividly an experience I had when I was conducting at the Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church), in Leipzig, Germany on tour with my college choir. After I was finished conducting in this beautiful church, I was approached by a man who was sitting in the pews listening to our music. He had come to tell me how powerful this music and the experience was to him, and although he was speaking in Portuguese (his native language) it was obvious what he was meaning to communicate; even though I couldn't understand the specific words, I knew that the music that I had conducted changed him. As musicians we have a unique opportunity to change peoples' lives, regardless of language or cultural differences. These are the experiences that I hope for your students; this is why we tour!