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Touring Choir Sharing the Gift of Music

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Seminary Touring Choir Creates Off-campus Ministry Opportunities

haupt10“As a student of pastoral theology, I find the Touring Choir supports my scholarly work. It takes me beyond studying to experience various worship styles and to meet people who gather at particular churches,” says Melissa Haupt, a PTS Ph.D. candidate.

She sees the Touring Choir as such a valuable complement to her studies that she was also a member while earning her M.Div. in 2008 and her Th.M. in 2009. Today, she’s the manager of the choir, known for its service to churches, hospitals, and prisons.

“The Touring Choir has a long history of reaching out beyond the campus,” says Martin Tel, the Seminary’s C.F. Seabrook Director of Music. “We bring a wonderful musical experience to people. The touring aspect lets us make connections, make people aware of the Seminary, and expose people to music of the global church.”

Tel 10Tel has directed the Seminary’s Touring Choir, Chapel Choir, and Seminary Singers since 1996, carrying on a tradition started by David Hugh Jones, who served the Seminary from 1934 until 1970 as choir director and organist. “He created a legacy of reaching out to others and giving them the gift of the church’s music. We now sing global music to share our rich diversity and expose others to music they may not have access to. And we know our alumni/ae have many fond memories of their choir experiences,” said Tel. Click here to share your choir memories.

The Seminary’s Touring Choir roster varies by performance, but generally includes approximately 20 students, selected from the Chapel Choir.

Sharing Global Music

The Touring Choir serves churches by singing, leading prayers, and reading scripture during Sunday services. “We mix traditional anthems with global music to help congregations experience other cultures. The beauty of global church music is its relationship to the service. If this were a concert, people might passively enjoy the music. When we weave songs into a congregation’s liturgy, people actively experience the music,” said Tel.give button choir

At the same time, the Touring Choir introduces students to the work associated with planning worship services at churches and programs at hospitals and prisons, while bringing a unique musical experience to others.

“I joined the choir because it not only offered an opportunity to sing and worship with fellow students, but also to travel to different church communities and share in worship, music, and fellowship with those congregations,” Haupt said. “As I have grown in my personal faith journey, music has become an integral and essential way of worshipping. It is where I’ve experienced God most fully.”

The Touring Choir History

Touring  Choir Trip of 1953The Seminary has a long history of using music to support its worship, education, and service to others. In 1937, Jones assembled the first Touring Choir. Selected from members of the Chapel Choir, the ensemble truly traveled the world. During Jones’s time alone, the choir performed at more than 2,000 churches across America. It also went global, traveling to Cuba, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and the Caribbean. The biggest tour was in 1953, when twenty-four singers left Princeton and spent fifty-two days touring Japan, Korea, and the Pacific Islands.

Traveling by train, boat, plane, military truck, and landing craft—and often dressed in military fatigues—they ministered to American, Korean, and Japanese service men and women fighting in the Korean War. According to Arlo Duba (M.Div. 1955, Ph.D. 1960), just twenty-four when he left on the tour, the choir performed 118 times and sang to nearly 43,000 people.

Choir ReunionDuba and other alumni from that 1953 trip—Al Davies (M.Div. 1955, D.Min. 1978), John Lee (M.Div. 1956), Jim MacKellar (M.Div. 1955), Don Pendell (M.Div. 1955), Paul Rutgers (M.Div. 1955), and Phil Young (M.Div. 1955)—presented an extensive photo review of the tour October 27, 2010, as part of Reunion Week. They shared many memories, as well as photos, travel orders, military papers, maps, and other mementos. Click here for a photo gallery.

While Tel is not planning anything that extensive this year, he says there will be a more extensive Touring Choir schedule in 2011–2012 to support the Seminary’s Bicentennial Celebration.


Hear the Sounds

Today’s Touring Choir maintains a strong focus on global music. “That’s appropriate,” said Tel, “because we have a diverse student body that brings us songs from around the world.”

In 2010, the student body, already known for representing many nations, added 21 international students, representing Botswana, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Korea, Latvia, Liberia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Russia, and Switzerland. Typically, these students return to ministries in their home countries. Nearly 900 alumni/ae live outside the United States.

2010 Choir

Listen to the Touring Choir’s global music.

To listen to the following  audio clips, you must have Windows Media player installed on your computer. To download a free copy of Windows Media Player, please click here.

Ŏhŏradiya
Text from Psalm 150. Music by Geonyong Lee; Joon-Yeon Heo, drum; I-to Loh, cantoto.
 


The Glory of the Father
Text from John 1. Music by Egil Hovland.
 


Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
African-American spiritual, arr. William L. Dawson; Elaine Bowen, soloist.
 

 


 

 

Share Your Choir Memory
What’s your favorite memory of the PTS Touring Choir? Please share your thoughts online using the submission box.

Posted by Nina Rogers at 11/12/2010 12:17:41 PM | 


The last year of Dr. David Hugh Jones many years as the Choir's Director (1969 - 1970) may have been one which included the most international students...eight in number out of a choir of twenty-four, Emil Zaki from Egypt and Frank Smalling from Jamaica were added after the choir had been set and do not appear in the choir photo. This mix of American and international students formed a special bond over the 26 Sunday schedule. It truly represented everything Princeton Seminary is as a place of theological study drawing from the world Christian community. I personally felt I gained far more from the experience than I would contribute. I still have close friends from among the group both in this country and around the world.
Posted by: J.Cameron Bigelow ( Email: ) at 11/24/2010 6:10 PM


I was in the summer touring choir of 1955. Several of us came home to be married immediately afterward. We toured to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Somewhere in that area we sang for a youth conference with 3,000 people in the audience and, shortly after, sang for an audience of one, a young person in an iron lung. We ran out of gas on a buffalo range, saw Mt. Rushmore and the Craters of the Moon, sang an average of twice a day, and crossed the continental US twice. I was the accompanist, and in the middle of a concert Jonesy would decide to do a number that required an organ accompaniment. So he would give me the signal and I would have to play without ever having learned how the organ was registered. That procedure produced some interesting effects. We had the choir treasurer in our car, and he had a briefcase full of silver dollars which we had collected at concerts out west. Four of us went with him to a bank to change the coins into bills, and we looked disreputable from having traveled all day. As we left, the sheriff drove up, having been summoned by a teller who thought we were there to rob the place. On another occasion, the cops stopped us because the Olds 88 we were driving fit the description of a car used in an actual bank robbery. We told them we were preachers-to-be, but didn't reveal that the trunk contained a briefcase full of money. We slept in a different home each night, rinsed our wash-and-wear shirts in the sink, and sometimes slept in the bathtub because it was a scorching hot summer and there were few AC's in those days. Jonesy kept us all in line, but frequently despaired about the future of the church with the likes of us in charge. However, the summer was a life-changing experience which gave us a broad view of the church which we never otherwise would have had.
Posted by: John W. Sloat, M.Div., '57 ( Email: ) at 11/25/2010 11:11 AM


I would like to know if the Touring Choir makes CDs, and if so, are they available for sale. If I can find the right mix, I'd like to give them as a gift to retiring members of Session.
-Ted Wright, 1978B,
pastor, Gaithersburg MD Pres.Ch.
Posted by: Ted Wright ( Email: ) at 12/6/2010 6:51 PM


This is a wonderful webpage. It would be nice, once it's available, if you would publish and keep updated a schedule of when and where the touring choir will appear. It would help a lot in scheduling and publicity by nearby alums.
Posted by: Keith E. Edwards M.Div. '82 ( Email: ) at 12/7/2010 1:20 AM


Ted and Keith:
There are no CDs specifically of the Touring Choir. However, we have four CDs of the Seminary choir, in which Touring Choir members past and present are singing. They are: Hark: A Thrilling Voice is Sounding (two-disc set, $9), Music from Miller Chapel ($11.99), Songs from the Sanctuary Vol. 1 ($13), and Songs from the Sanctuary Vol. 2 ($10.50). All can be ordered from the TBA by called 609-497-7735. Staff can provide song titles on each CD if you call.

As to schedule, there will not be any Touring Choir dates in the spring semester 2011, as Dr. Tel will be on leave. However, as soon as dates for 2011-2012 have been set, we will publish the schedule on this web site.

We're glad you like the site!

Barbara Chaapel
Director of Communications/Publications
Posted by: Barbara Chaapel ( Email: ) at 12/7/2010 2:03 PM


Song Title: "Hosanna"
Hear @ URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYk5dwG0y1Q
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Posted by: davieshall1 ( Email: ) at 11/20/2012 5:55 AM


The last year of Dr. David Hugh Jones many years as the Choir's Director (1969 - 1970) may have been one which included the most international students. Please visit website for your dissertation writing needs: http://online-dissertation-help.co.uk/
Posted by: Gema Hurts ( Email: ) at 11/21/2012 2:55 PM


This is a magnificent webpage. It would be nice, once it's obtainable, if you would put out and keep updated a agenda of when and where the touring choir will come into view. It would help a lot in scheduling and advertising by close alums.
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Posted by: Amanda Hill ( Email: ) at 11/21/2012 2:57 PM


As to program, there will not be some Touring Choir dates in the spring semester 2011, as Dr. Tel will be on holidays. Though, as soon as dates for 2011-2012 have been set, we will issue the dissertation timetable on this web site. Youa can get free dissertation topics and high quality dissertation examples from this website: http://www.dissertation-topics-examples.info/
Posted by: Lee Ada ( Email: ) at 11/21/2012 3:01 PM


Yes miss Lee ada is right, we have to ait for the new time table from Dr.Tel. http://www.ukdissertation.co.uk/
Posted by: Shane ( Email: ) at 11/21/2012 3:02 PM


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