What started as a small part of a Homecoming event two years ago has grown into an exciting opportunity for College of Idaho alumni to come together for a shared passion: making music.
The C of I Alumni & Friends Choir will hold its annual spring concert at 7:30 p.m. on April 20 in Langroise Recital Hall, performing Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria” under the direction of Bill Buckendorf ‘74. The concert is free and open to the public.
“This choir has completely surpassed where I thought it would be,” said Andrea Cronrath ’07, one of the driving forces behind the choir’s formation. “I thought if we got to 10 people it would have been a success, but it’s been a blast to see where it’s gone and where it’s going.”
Cronrath, who majored in music as a student at C of I, participated in a Homecoming Sunday morning service two years ago that invited alumni of all ages to perform a number of simple songs. The event inspired Cronrath to speak with Buckendorf, who taught music at Caldwell High School for 34 years, about the possibility of regular events with an alumni choir.
Since then, the choir has met regularly, rehearsing twice monthly to prepare music under multiple genres, from madrigals and classical songs to show tunes. The choir attracts between 15-20 alumni and friends and gives regular performances, from Homecoming events to holiday appearances, including the College’s Holiday Tree Lighting.
Aside from formal concerts, the choir has performed the national anthem at multiple sporting events, including C of I football games and Idaho Steelheads hockey games at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.
Cronrath said the choir has a laid-back style and is accepting of all levels of experience, from alumni who studied music and regularly performed as students to members who have not participated in musical groups before.
“I’ve been really happy with the turnout we’ve had,” Cronrath said. “We’ve had such great supporters from the community. We’re really like a big group of friends.”
Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” a choral and orchestral piece with multiple movements, will feature accompaniment from violist Dave Johnson of the C of I Langroise Trio. Cronrath said it is an ambitious piece for the choir to perform, but she is excited for how the concert will come together.
“We’re excited to concentrate on this piece and broaden our outreach even more,” Cronrath said. “I’m excited to see where we can go next.”
The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. For more information, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.