Cathedral Choir performs homecoming concert


Cathedral Choir performs in St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church in Plymouth, Minnesota. Photo courtesy of Morgan Coy (‘24)

he CFL stage turned green once more as Cathedral Choir took to the risers to perform their Homecoming concert, “Going on Our Way,” signaling the end of their 2022 tour. The “Green Machine” performed on the evening of Wednesday, April 27 after touring the previous weekend. 

Beginning on Thursday, April 21, Cathedral Choir departed on their annual tour, traveling through Minnesota and Iowa. Destinations included Kenyon, St. Peter, Pine City, Cambridge, and Plymouth in Minnesota, as well as Spirit Lake, Iowa. 

Cathedral Choir is composed of sophomore upper and lower voices. Because the choir members are sophomores, that weekend marked their first tour with Luther choirs, as the COVID-19 pandemic did not allow for tour this past academic year. Students had the opportunity to take on new responsibilities as they learned the basics of touring with a Luther ensemble. Jaime Bizarri (’24) spoke a bit about students’ role in running the tour.

“Tour could not run smoothly if the entire choir was not involved,” Bizarri said. “We had a luggage crew, we had hospitality, we had a robe crew, and everyone had a position to make things run more effectively and efficiently. Having that all come together for a common purpose was really moving.”

Students learned a lot about professionality and what it means to perform on the road, as they adapted to different venues. Additionally, this was an opportunity for choir members to connect with each other as an ensemble and as peers. Morgan Coy (’24) spoke about how she felt that the group became more connected, comparing it with her recent experience on tour with Concert Band.

“I loved how intimate it was,” Coy said. “We were all on the same bus, we were always doing something together, and it really allowed for the group to connect more. It is definitely something I am going to remember forever.”

The songs in the choir’s set, selected by Director of Cathedral Choir and Assistant Professor of Music Mark Potvin (’01), featured a variety of styles, eras, composers, arrangers, and lyricists. While the pieces were each very different, the set followed a common theme, described in the program notes at the Homecoming Concert. In the program, Potvin shared a story that led him to the theme “Going on Our Way.” The phrase stemmed from a sung blessing that is meaningful to him and his wife. Potvin shared that the blessing was brought back to his attention during the pandemic. 

The diverse program featured songs which tackled some large issues. One piece, “How Dare You,” had lyrics taken from climate activist Greta Thunberg’s speeches. The song pleads for immediate climate action, calling listeners to act before it’s too late for our earth and its ecosystems. Potvin shared a bit about this piece in particular, which was originally supposed to be sung on the canceled 2020 Cathedral tour.

“What’s interesting is that the messages of that piece are even more relevant–and urgent!–two years later,” Potvin said “The first half is damning. ‘Entire ecosystems are collapsing,’ and ‘still you line your pockets’ –indeed. But, ‘I still believe you love me [and that] you care,’ are powerful words as we work to call folks into engaging in the very real and increasingly desperate fight against climate change.”

While this piece was the one that Potvin considered to be most impactful, the variety in the program allowed for students to connect with any one of the many pieces. Bizarri spoke about what the Homecoming Concert and the piece, “Threads of Joy” meant to them as a featured soloist.

“[Wednesday’s] concert left me speechless, honestly,” Bizarri said. “A special moment for me was definitely at the end of “Threads Of Joy,” because [the concert] was the last time I got to sing that solo. It is probably my favorite piece of all time, and it meant a lot to my mom and I as well. Being able to leave it all out there was a really good feeling.”

Cathedral Choir finished their year with this tourand Homecoming Concert.If students are interested in becoming involved in the Lutherchoir ensembles, they can contact Potvin at [email protected]. Students can also be on the lookout for information on auditions, which will take place in August 2022.