Local Student Performs Farewell Concert Before IAM European Tour
On July 2nd, in a packed gymnasium at Grinnell College, hundreds of Iowa high school students gathered to perform their farewell concert for their friends and family before departing on a two week tour of Europe as representatives of the Iowa Ambassadors of Music. Lamoni High School’s own Loralei Jackel is a member of this year’s Iowa Ambassadors of Music on their 30th European tour. Loralei is singing Soprano with the IAM Choir under the direction of Dr. Lee Nelson, Professor of Music and Choral Conducting at Wartburg College, and Beth Mueller, 6-12 Choral Director at Maquoketa Valley Public School, performing works such as “Lux Aurumque” by Eric Whitacre, “Bring Me a Little Water Sylvie” arranged by Moira Smiley, and debuting an arrangement of “When the Saints Go Marching In” by Stacey Gibbs. All together, the choir is performing thirteen pieces of music with two selections combined with the IAM Concert Band.
The group departed at 2:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 3rd for Chicago to start their journey across the Atlantic Ocean. The group landed in London where they start their tour with two performance’s before departing for Paris to perform at Notre Dame. The group continues into Switzerland and Austria before then heading to The Vatican to perform at St. Mark’s Basilica. Finally, they conclude their tour in Germany on July 17th before returning home.
While the performance on Monday was nothing short of magical, it did not come without a lot of hard work. The group has been meeting for nearly two years providing information regarding the trip and holding regional rehearsals. For three and a half days before the farewell concert, students from across the state found themselves at Grinnell College where they would rehearse and practice their repertoire throughout teach day.
After many long, hard hours of rehearsing the group put on a masterful concert displaying not only a deep understanding of their music but also the restraint and balance of a well-rounded and talented ensemble. The performance checked all the necessary boxes with beautiful sounds sprinkled throughout a fun and upbeat set covering several languages and styles ranging from African American spirituals to classical European choral works to modern compositions. It goes without saying, our European friends are in for quite the treat. As her teacher, I am incredibly proud of Loralei and equally excited for her to have this once in a lifetime experience. Congratulations to Loralei and the rest of the IAM performers!