The Evangel University Concert Choir performed a series of groundbreaking concerts in Cuba last May and was joined by a 13-voice Cuban choir who traveled and performed with them. This year, the choirs will reunite for a tour of 10 cities in the western United States.
The National Assemblies of God Choir of Cuba will arrive in the U.S. on Thursday, Feb. 28.
“We are having welcome signs with each of their pictures and a huge welcome banner made for their arrival,” said Sharon Wilkins, choir director and associate professor of music. “I think it will be very moving to see the two groups come together again.”
The choirs will perform concerts in Colorado, New Mexico and Oklahoma, March 3-10. They are slated to appear in eight churches and four high school assemblies during the 10-day tour.
The culmination of the spring break tour will be a joint appearance in Evangel’s chapel service on Tuesday, March 12, at 10 a.m. There will be no charge for admission, and the public is welcome to attend.
The Cuban choir will remain in the USA for other select dates, including an appearance at Silver Dollar City on March 23.
“The bond that was made between the two choirs last summer is amazing. Only heaven knows what the extent of our touring together will be. This is a first for Evangel. Travel restrictions between the two countries would have made this impossible until recently,” Wilkins said.
Arrangements for the Cuban choir to come to the U.S. were made by Global University here in Springfield.
Choirs overcome challenges for tour
The climate difference for the Cuban choir could pose a challenge for them, but the concert choir has made provision for this, according to Wilkins.
“We are gathering warm clothing,” Wilkins said. “We are loaning our sweaters, sweat shirts, coats, gloves, hats and scarves to them. They especially wanted to see snow if they got to come to the U.S., so we planned to tour in Colorado. Little did we know we would have snow here in Springfield!”
The language barrier is another challenge for the trip, but Wilkins said there are Spanish-speaking students in the choir who will aid in their communication.
One should not discount the transcendent language of music as well.
“We found a way to communicate very well when we were in Cuba,” Wilkins said. “The universal language of music transcends the conversational language barriers to an extent that only the spirit and the heart understand.”
For additional information, contact Sharon Wilkins at (417) 865- 2811, ext. 7328.