Dordt College News

Dordt College orchestra returns from music tour in Europe

June 4, 2012

The 32-person Dordt College Chamber Orchestra has returned from its two-week music tour through Europe, a tour that consisted of sharing beautiful music, visiting historical places, and meeting and forming friendships with international host families.

For Dordt College junior and violist Sarah De Smith, the tour was a way of engaging in a larger world and sharing orchestra members’ talents with an international audience.

“The best part of the tour was seeing the delight on the faces of our audience after finishing a concert and knowing that even if they had never heard of Dordt College or will not have any contact with us again, we were able to share with them, through the common language of music, the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,” said De Smith, an elementary education major from Sioux Center, Iowa.

The ensemble performed in Germany, France, and the Netherlands under the direction of Bradley Miedema. The group performed concerts and visited several places that were instrumental during the Reformation, including Heidelberg, Eisenach, and Wittenberg. They also stopped in Dordrecht, where the Canons of Dordt were written, an event that inspired the naming of Dordt College.

Highlights from the trip included performing in the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Eisleben, the church where Martin Luther was baptized and where he preached his final sermon. The orchestra also held a concert in Nordhausen, a city in Germany that was celebrating its 1,085th birthday that weekend. The group toured Bach’s birthplace, Wittenberg’s All Saints Church, and a concentration camp.

Tour repertoire included the exciting first movement of Hummel's Concerto in E-flat for Trumpet featuring Peter Kuipers as soloist, Pavane by Gabriel Faure, Mendelssohn's Overture for Winds written when the composer was only 15 years old, and the first movement of Schubert's Symphony No. 6 in C Major.

Music is an integral part of campus life at Dordt College. Approximately 300 students participate in the music program, with opportunities to perform in four choral groups, two orchestras, and three bands. Music scholarships are available to qualified students. Learn more about Dordt College at

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