Choral Group Begins Tour in Northern Poland
Saturday, August 4
OLESIN, POLAND—the Hope Singers embarked on the second half of their Poland tour at 7:32 this morning. The early nature of their departure was described by Bass 2 Kenneth Godoy: “It felt a little bit like…living in a hopeless world. No coffee. No sleep. And only an eternal stare into the red eyes of dawn. Nothing more.”
The Hope Singers, an Anabaptist choral group mostly from the USA, has been touring for about a week in the southern part of Poland, and after a few days respite at a retreat center in Olesin, have now begun the second leg of their tour into the northern part of Poland.
They were headed in a large yellow coach to an historic farmstead close to the city of Gdansk where the ladies in the group were destined to stay. The men, meanwhile, had lodging 7 kilometers away at an historic Mennonite farmstead.
After several hours of driving, the group stopped at a rest area for 45 minutes, where they used the water closets, threw a Frisbee, played Apples to Apples, and ate snacks. The mild weather, which lacked humidity, was a break from previous mugginess.
Upon arrival at their destination, the singers ate a hearty meal of sandwiches, chips, and fruit, and the single male portion of the group departed to their separate lodging. After a quick change into concert attire, the male consort headed back to the main place of abode, where the whole group regrouped and drove the forty minutes to the Baptist Church in Elblag for the first concert in the second half of the tour.
By this time, the temperature had risen considerably, according to several witnesses. Clothed in their uniforms, the choir sweated profusely.
After a bit of practice, the choir gathered in the basement for prayer time, where they discovered that the concert was to start twenty minutes earlier than planned. According to eyewitnesses, this caused consternation, but not panic. Mennonite youth appear to be flexible.
Andrew Hinds, Tenor 2, did not sing in the program because of a cold. Other choir members expressed concern about vocal issues, but managed to sing anyway. Christopher Good (Bass 2), who did sing, said, “I do feel a little sick. So far I’m planning to sing tomorrow. But I’d rather be better.”
Choir members voiced varied opinions on the concert. Esther Strickler, Soprano 2, said, “I thought the audience was very responsive. It was fun to sing for them.”
Myron Eby, Bass 1, said, “It was probably the warmest program for me personally. The air temperature didn’t feel that warm, but the humidity was very high.”
After an encore, the choir congregated in the church basement for supper, provided by the church people. Abigail Miller, Soprano 1 said of the meal: “Well, it was amazing. There was grilled chicken, and there was chicken with herbs, and there was potatoes, and there was a really delicious noodle soup, and also salad and cake.”
Late this evening, sources have confirmed that in anticipation for a long day tomorrow, the choir has begun to wind down for the night.
Written by Joseph Miller