In February 2018, the Ball State University Women’s Chorus, under the direction of Kerry Glann, traveled to Chicago to perform at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Central and North Central Conference. Aasia Sampley, a member of the Women’s Chorus, wrote about her experience:
Being a part of the Women’s Chorus at Ball State University has been an incredibly fun experience. I learned a lot about what it is like to be in an ensemble made up of all women (which I had never experienced before) and the tremendous sound the ensemble can produce. Our trip to Chicago for the ACDA regional conference took place from Tuesday, February 13 through Thursday, February 15. During the first few days we embarked on a mini-tour stopping at two high schools to perform and talk with the students. Our first stop was Valparaiso High School. The next day we traveled to Downers Grove North High School where we not only performed for the students but we got to sing with the students. We learned a quick piece and got to hear some talented young singers whom we encouraged to continue studying music in college. After, we answered questions and talked about the wonderful program at Ball State. I would have loved to have had the chance to do this when I was in high school. Speaking with the students gave us the chance to potentially give them music in college as many believe it ends at graduation. I enjoyed this part of the trip the most.
On February 15 we arrived and performed at the Harris Theatre in Chicago. This was a fantastic venue to sing in and I felt more connected to this group of singers than any prior group. We were fully prepared for the performance and ready to give the audience the best set we could. One of the most memorable parts of the performance was during our set of Abbie Betinis’s “From Behind the Caravan: Songs of Hâfez.” I could see the front row very clearly from where I was standing. There was a girl sitting toward the middle whose jaw was dropped for almost the entire set. I just remember feeling very proud and that this was what we had worked so hard for.
My favorite thing about this trip was getting to travel and rehearse as we went. Each day we felt more prepared and ready for our performance at the ACDA conference. We gave an awesome performance. One that I am still very proud of. Not only that, but we got to interact with students and pour a little bit of what we do here at BSU into their lives. Maybe one day they will join us. Hopefully they do. -Aasia Sampley