College Choir Performs at National Cathedral

Invitation to perform came from the Metro. Washington, D.C., Synod

As their voices resonated off of the large stone walls of the Washington National Cathedral, the Roanoke College choir, under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Sandborg, performed October 30, 2005, at the Reformation Sunday Mass.

The performance was one of three services in which the choir sang during their overnight trip to Washington D.C. The choir arrived on a Saturday and sang at the Lord of Life Lutheran Church and then during Sunday Mass at the Washington National Cathedral.

Students had a free afternoon to visit attractions in the area after performing. The members of the Lord of Life Lutheran Church hosted a dinner for the choir on Saturday and students went home with host families that evening.

The invitation to perform came from the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod. "These people are very strong supporters of Roanoke College and they love to see talented, disciplined students," Dr. Sandborg said. "This was a tremendous opportunity to say 'thank you' in our own way."

Roanoke College President Sabine U. O'Hara was the featured speaker during four services on Sunday morning which was attended by about 900 worshippers. O'Hara's message addressed Lutheran higher education and how people should be passionate about what they pursue. O'Hara felt that it was an honor that she and the choir were invited to be a part of Reformation Sunday.

"They did a very nice job," O'Hara said. "It's nice for people to be able to put a face, or in our case, many faces with an institution that they support."

"A Mighty Fortress" and "Gloria," both arranged by Dr. Sandborg, were among selections featured in the choral performance. "A Mighty Fortress" was first performed at Dr. O'Hara's inauguration. "He Never Failed Me Yet," was a spiritual selection that the choir chose to sing to commemorate the death of Rosa Parks.

This trip is just one of the many opportunities that the College choir has been able to experience. The choir has traveled internationally to 12 countries since 1996. Aside from concert appearances in the Roanoke area and East Coast, the choir sometimes performs with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.