DECATUR — Join the Millikin University Choir and bring along a traveling bag.
The 2013 tour kicks off today (Jan. 6) in Springfield and will continue with additional stops in Illinois as well as performances in Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Mississippi.
The 55-voice choir, directed by Brad Holmes, performs a broad variety of styles and genres with artistic excellence. In the past, the choir has appeared in several countries, including England, Haiti, Dominican Republic, China and Taiwan.
Holmes went into this ambitious tour schedule knowing a thing or two about how it feels to sit in a bus seat.
“I’ve been touring with choirs since I was 19 years old,” he said. “The first time was a summer trip with a church choir. At Millikin, I’ve done this for 21 years.
“This time we’re going to my home town. Albuquerque, New Mexico,” Holmes said. “Sort of a local boy makes good story. We’re also going to four places in Texas. In a couple of months I’ll be conducting the Texas all-state choir. So visiting Texas is special.”
For Holmes, though, the best concert of all is the homecoming concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Decatur.
“It’s extra special,” Holmes said.
The itinerary for the Millikin University Choir tour:
—Jan. 6: Central Baptist Church, Springfield
—Jan. 7: First United Methodist Church, Yukon, Okla.
—Jan. 9: La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church, Scottsdale, Ariz.
—Jan. 11: St. John’s United Methodist Church, Albuquerque, N.M.
—Jan. 13: Second Baptist Church, Lubbock, Texas
—Jan, 14: Oak Hill United Methodist Church, Austin, Texas
—Jan. 15: First Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth, Texas
—Jan. 16: Custer Road United Methodist Church, Plano, Texas
—Jan. 17: First United Methodist Church, Cleveland, Miss.
—Jan. 18: First Presbyterian Church, Cape Girardeau, Mo.
—Jan. 19: Central Presbyterian Church, Clayton, Mo.
—Jan. 20: St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, Granite City
—Jan. 26: Holy Family Church, Chicago
—Jan, 27: St. Patrick Catholic Church, Decatur
The 60-voice Millikin Chamber Chorale, directed by Guy Forbes, will also be on the road in January. Their tour schedule includes: Jan. 13, Wesley United Methodist Church, Bloomington; Jan. 14, First Baptist Church, Kearney, Mo.; Jan. 15, First United Methodist Church, Mount Pleasant, Iowa; Jan. 16, Arlington Heights United Methodist Church, Maplewood, Minn.; and Jan. 18, First Congregational Church of Dundee, West Dundee.
The tour concludes with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20, at Central Christian Church in Decatur.