By: Maggie Kretzmann
When one passes through the Odvin Hagen building, it is usually pretty quiet and still. However, once the afternoon rolls around, the rehearsal room is filled with music as eager students arrive to practice for the day.
The choir is the same as usual: everybody is there, because they all share the same passion of making beautiful music and sharing that talent with others. There is only one minor change this year–a new choir director. Being involved in a collegiate-level choir may seem daunting, but Joel Everist is up for the challenge.
“He’s determined, focused and caring,” said Karsen Houck, vice-president of the choir council. “On top of all that, he’s a fantastic musician.”
Before coming to Waldorf, Everist conducted, and continues to conduct, at Mason City High School. A few of the places his choirs have performed include Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center. They have also been featured on public television and were in the documentary, “Invisible Threads”. Everist graduated from Gustavus Adolphus with a BA in theatre and music, as well as an MM from Northwestern University.
When asked why he decided to come to Waldorf, he knew just the answer. “I have a great deal of respect for the faculty’s ministry of teaching in providing an education for Waldorf students. As the son of two Lutheran pastors, I was profoundly shaped by a sense of call in my vocation. It will be a joy to teach in a community of faith that prepares graduates to become servant leaders in their daily lives,” said Everist.
Everist feels humbled to be apart of the second oldest a cappella choir and a part of Waldorf’s tradition. He has not been here for long, but he already has ideas he plans to bring to the Waldorf Choir. Choral music contains communicative qualities that liberate and excite the human spirit.
Everist said, “The Waldorf Choir empowers us to grow together-connecting and creating community. We can’t wait to engage with audiences and enhance the legacy of the Waldorf Choir!”