Campus choirs perform three shows to commemorate the 1914 Christmas Truce
By Andrina Moe, Contributing writer and choir member
On Christmas Eve night 1914, German and British troops ceased fire. All was silent in no-mans-land. Peering over the trenches soldiers could see signs posted on trees that read, “You no fight, we no fight.” There was silence for a time and then Germans made the first move, coming up out of the trenches without their guns and with offerings of chocolate cake to the British troops. With great trust, the British troops left their guns and met the Germans in no-mans-land. They all shared a meal, sang the carols of their homelands and celebrated the Christmas holiday together as people, not as enemies. The next morning they would be back at war, but they would cherish the time to celebrate Christmas.
In memory of the fallen soldiers and that night 100 years ago, the choirs of Anoka-Ramsey Community College (Cambridge and Coon Rapids campuses), and the Land of Lakes Boys Choir, lifted up their voices together in song. Starting at the cozy Cambridge Lutheran Church, on November 11th, the three choirs met for the first time. Putting aside campus rivalry, just like the German and British troops, students greeted each other and prepared to share in a heartwarming experience.
On November 15th, the choirs came together again at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. Starting up above the clergy before mass, the ARCC choirs sang “In Flanders Fields.” Randal Buikema, the ARCC Cambridge choir director said, “They sounded like angels.” The last note of the song could be heard bouncing around the Basilica for 10 whole seconds after the piece was done.
The last day, November 16th, the choirs came together for one last show at Epiphany in Coon Rapids. With a full orchestra and the 125 person choir, the stage was set for one last breath-taking performance. The strings and harp came in first followed by the brass, voices yell out with a heart stopping start to “Chichester Psalms,” a three movement piece.
Ending the show with “Night of Silence,” the crowd was encouraged to join in. The last note hung in the air as tears ran down the side of faces in the audience. With that, the whole crowd stood up and cheered, a standing ovation, and in the words on one of the parents, Wendy Frakie, “Simply amazing!”