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Doane Choir sings with Crete High

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outside singing

On Thursday, Oct. 29, Doane Choir and Jazz Unlimited walked and drove down to Crete High School to exchange music. 

Students from the two choirs at Doane had the opportunity to take their concert music and perform it in front of a live audience, as the concert was performed in front of a camera for Facebook Live. In response, students from the Crete High School choir had an opportunity to share their music with Doane students as well.

The event ended with Crete choir students performing a call-and-response song in which Doane students sang with them.

According to the Director of Choral and Vocal Activity Dr. Kurt Runestad, there is a “long history [between] Crete High School and the Doane Choral Program.” With the help of the Crete High School Choral Director, Runestad planned the event to give students an opportunity to perform for an audience. 

“The Doane Choir hasn't had nearly as many performing opportunities as in a normal semester, so it was a joy to have a chance to share some music with our high school choir neighbors,” Runestad said.

After the event, many Doane students agreed it was a good opportunity to sing for an audience. 

“It was fun because it returned a sense of normalness in a time where things are so out of whack that it’s difficult to place memorable events like this,” sophomore Sean Hummel said.

For Hummel, this event had even more meaning because he remembers when the Doane Choir came to his school when he was in high school, and it gave him a chance to see a college choir. 

According to freshman Anna Harveson, who is involved in Doane Choir and Jazz Unlimited, performances like this are important because they can help high school students get interested in college.

Due to the pandemic, the performance looked different than typical performances. Runestad worked with the Crete High School Choral Director to make sure students were kept safe. This included having the event outside, wearing masks, social distancing and no carpooling for students who drove to Crete High. 

Despite all of the challenges due to COVID-19, Runestad, as well as the students, still felt this was an important opportunity to make music together.

“The Doane Choir and Crete High School choir still deserve performance opportunities. Music and singing should not be cancelled altogether. Finding ways to keep the fine arts alive in these complex times is important,” Runestad said. 

Runestad, as well as Hummel and Harveson, all said they hope to have more performance opportunities such as this in the future.