By Braden Unruh
While in Gdansk, Poland, our choir had the opportunity to explore and learn about the history of the city. We enjoyed a guided tour that highlighted the city’s development throughout history. An especially important stop on the tour was at St. Mary’s Church, located near our hotel. The church, which began being constructed in the 14th century, is to date the largest brick church in the world. The building is a wonder, architectually and acoustically – just ask any choir member upon return.
We were able to sing two pieces in the space. What followed was incredible. Merle, our tour manager, points out that even though our choir doesn’t speak the language of who we are singing for, we as a choir can connect with them through the universal language of music.
We definitely spoke in such a way when we sang in the space at St. Mary’s. Most of the people who were in the church at the time stopped what they were doing and listened to the sounds we were making – the rich harmonies, melodies; the seemingly everlasting echo that ensued a break in the piece. It is doubtful that many, if any of the people in the church connected with the words we were singing, but we definitely spoke and touched people through the universal language of music. It was an experience that we will likely remember for a long time, if not the rest of our lives.