About two weeks ago I went on my first retreat with my choir the Lee University Chorale to Big Canoe in Georgia. I've heard about this place numerous times from my friends in Chorale and Deon. It's located in the North Georgia Appalachian Mountains and is simply BREATHTAKING. The community there is quite wealthy and the houses in the mountains are so beautiful and unique. It also serves as a resort so there are many fun things to do. The president of Lee, Paul Conn and his wife Darlia own a home there and attend this small church at the very heart of the mountain whenever they come. That's how Chorale got started coming to Big Canoe. We get there Friday night, stay with our host families, Saturday we spend rehearsing, doing fun activities like a Talent Show and a hike, and then we close the day with a devotional and communion. Then it's up to us what we want to do with our host families for the rest of the evening. Sunday morning we sing at the Big Canoe Church and Dr. Conn always comes, then we head back home.
I cannot begin to tell you what a wonderful time it was. My host home was incredibly courteous and fun to be around. I've had some bad host home experiences in my old choir so host homes always make me nervous, but they are all so sweet!
|All of Chorale on our hike!|
|Andrea and I at a country concert!|
|Skits and talent show shenanigans.|
|The "Senior" members of Chorale.|
|After our first performance together!|
|Sadly, my host mom isn't in this pic but isn't our host dad cute?|
|Rachel, Millie and I. We were all in Ladies together last year!|
|Chelsea, Mackenzie, and Victoria were my roommates on retreat!|
One of my favorite parts of the weekend aside from performing, was Saturday night. Big Canoe has an amphitheater that hosts seasonal concerts and there was a country singer performing that night. Most of the host homes took us there and the singer was great! He covered a lot of fun songs too like "Footloose" "Don't Stop Believin" and one of my all time favorite songs ever "500 Miles" by the Proclaimers. Chorale just let lOOSE and we danced like nuts in front of the stage! It was one of the most fun nights I have ever had.
Another really special moment for me was during the evening devotional we had. Dr. Green asked each old member of Chorale to take a new member up to the alter for communion. I assumed Deon was going to want to take his friend Sam, but he took my hand and said that he felt it was something we needed to do together. We went up and partook communion and then we sat down together and held hands and prayed together. We both are very awkward horrible prayers when it comes to praying out loud and it's not something we are comfortable doing, but I am so glad we did! I love hearing Deon pray. He talks to God just like he would talk to a best friend. It's pretty funny but also endearing.
Our service went quite well at the church and I can't wait for our first concert October 14th. We are doing lots of great pieces like Haydn's Missa Brevis in F, some spirituals, Richte Mein Gott, and much more! If you're on campus come check it out!