|Brandt completes final New Way tour|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
Highlighting Nicole Brandt’s summer vacation for the past four years has been touring with New Way Singers. She first auditioned for the choir as a freshman in high school, and has been accepted every year since.
New Way Singers is a traveling choir comprised of high school students from the area and sponsored by Nebraska Christian College. This year’s choir had 82 members, up from around 50 in Brandt’s previous years.
Under the direction of Ron Leach and Rachel Wetjen, the singers first rehearse at the NCC campus in Papillion, Neb. Each year has been a unique experience, and Brandt noted one of the big differences in this year’s tour was the expanse of tour stops. In past years, they have traveled within three states, but this year, June 6-20 they stopped in six: Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Nebraska, Iowa and Tennessee.
Brandt was one of six singers on this tour who have been with New Ways for four consecutive years. To honor the students, each was asked to share one memory and one challenge that stood out from their years of touring. Brandt shared that her favorite memories have been the service opportunities associated with the tour. In past years, she has assisted in a homeless shelter and in a tornado clean-up; both have left lasting impressions.
Reflecting on the challenges of the vocal tour, Brandt commented that it can be difficult to do everything with a cheerful heart, but that doing so always makes it a better experience.
On this particular tour, Brandt noted her favorite part was a performance at a Southern Baptist Church in Missouri. The choir’s repertoire consists of many gospel songs, and at this particular stop much of the audience knew the songs and sang along. They were an energetic and lively bunch, Brandt said.
Brandt’s final performance was held in Omaha, Neb., where her family was in attendance to support her
Despite a minor setback when one of their tour buses broke down, Brandt considers her final tour with New Way Singer a success. Commenting on what kept her coming back every year, Brandt said, “It’s a good way to learn about God, make friends and become a better singer.”
This year’s theme was ‘inside out,’ which Brandt explained means they need to love God before they can do anything else; actions come naturally from what’s in your heart.
While it’s sad to think her New Way Singers experience is over, Brandt is pleased to be attending NCC in the fall, where some of her choir tour friends will also be enrolled.