Growing up in the northern Idaho Panhandle near the Canadian border, Samuel Gaines ’18 had long wanted to sing with the best collegiate choir he could find and in his research The Concordia Choir was always listed as a top choir.
During his senior year in high school, he came to Moorhead for a campus visit and heard a concert.
“It was awe-inspiring,” he says. “It gave me a sense of wonder and excitement that I had never experienced. The depth of sound and the level of artistry that was being created were life-changing for me. I knew I had to sing at this caliber.”
Now as a three-year choir veteran, Gaines has developed a deep understanding and love of singing baroque music and especially Bach motets. He admires Bach’s creativity and the intellectual interplay of his music.
“I’ve learned to appreciate the mind that could create such music. His music sings and sings well,” he says. “Once you learn a Bach motet, which isn’t easy, you never forget it.”
A highlight for Gaines was the concert tour in Germany last summer where the choir sang mere feet from Bach’s tomb in Leipzig.
“We were profoundly lucky to sing in Bach’s church. It’s an experience I’ll never forget,” he says.
Gaines says he and his fellow choir members are “energized” to sing a famous Bach motet in the opening set of this concert tour.
“We’ve worked the hardest on this piece of any in the program, and we’re at our best when we sing it,” he says.
Following graduation in May, Gaines will begin a two-year contract teaching music to middle school students in Kuwait.
“After being at Concordia, I can’t wait to show young singers what quality music sounds like,” he says. “I’m ready to lead a choir and teach that the reward for hard work is a great musical experience. I want to create that lasting magical impact that good music gives you.”
The Concordia Choir national tour runs through March 11.