Last Friday we drove the 2 1/2 hours (in good weather) drive to Sioux Falls to go to the Kantorei Service. The drive there was terrible and we went very slow and careful. The other side of the interstate was closed because a truck was across the entire road. There were several cars in the ditch. When we got to Sioux Falls we did some shopping and ate a nice dinner before we went to the church. I knew the Lambs would be a mess after shopping all day so I brought nicer clothes for the Lambs to change into. While I was changing the Lambs, one of the members of the church talked to me. She was shocked that we would drive so far to go to the service.
I was disappointed in the attendance. The friends that we stayed with Friday night arrived at the church very early because they were concerned about getting a good seat for their family. They could have come on time and had a whole pew to their family. Yes there were many members of the host church that attended. Yes there were many pastors and friends like us that drove in for the concert. But Sioux Falls is a large enough town that that church should have been packed. Many people spoke to us about how they remembered the last time Kantorei came to this area, to Brookings, about 8 years ago. The weather was bad earlier in the day north of Sioux Falls, but it was fine in Sioux Falls, especially the night of the concert. We know of a few other families that drove close to an hour to be there.
I have a friend that said whenever she knows a group of Lutherans will be together with a chance for singing some good hymns within reasonable driving distance she won't miss it. Ram and I have never said that, but we agree with that statement.
The first few years we lived here we tried to go "home" to the CTS Symposia each January. When Lamb 2 was a baby we got stuck in a blizzard when we were driving to Symposia and Ram missed the first few days of Symposia. We also had tried flying to Symposia before that year and I hated flying that time of year, not knowing if the flight would be canceled, etc. Sadly after the year that we got stuck in a blizzard we decided that it was not going to work to go to Symposia while we lived here. The last time I heard Kantorei was about 5 years ago when we went to Symposia.
When you live in a city like Fort Wayne there are so many concerts and recitals and choirs that you take it for granted. I didn't attend even half of the concerts/services at the Seminary when I lived in Fort Wayne. I miss that terribly. Most of the people that attended on Friday will never get to Fort Wayne to hear the Kantorei. It was wonderful that the Seminary Kantorei came to us last Friday night.
It was wonderful to hear them process in to one of Ram's favorite hymns, Of the Father's Love Begotten. It was wonderful to participate in the liturgy together. I love that we went to Saint Louis for the installation service last fall and to Sioux Falls for the Kantorei service last Friday and we can easily participate in the service because it all has the same basic liturgy! The Lambs enjoyed singing "Alleluia" in Let our Gladness have no end.
We could tell the members were tired by the 8th tour stop and they still had 2 more stops before they could finally fly home. They had a concert every night, even the night that they flew into Kansas and two services on Sunday mornings. We could tell the ones that were married missed their families. Being part of a Kantorei tour is very different from the band tours I went on in high school and college.
Being in Kantorei must be a great experience for the members, but it's also lots of work, and they sacrifice a lot to be part of it. We really appreciated that they brought the Seminary music to us. Thank you Seminary Kantorei members, director, organist, and preacher. Thank you for being brave enough to go on tour to the Midwest in winter. We appreciate it.