By Jordan Boucher ’13 Overland Park, Kansas
Jordan Boucher ’13 sings second bass in the St. Olaf Choir.
I thought “fourth meal” was just for Taco Bell, but when we arrived back at our home-stay farm in Snåsa to a spread of bread, cheese, wine, cookies, brownies, fresh milk (as in five-hours-old fresh), moose jerky, sausage, sliced ham, scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, and fresh veggies … I remembered I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.
The concert in Snåsa was spot on. The church was packed. Concerts are always tighter when we are right up in the faces of the audience. I know for some it’s the pressure of being really vulnerable as there isn’t the safety of distance that you feel in a concert hall where the stage and the seats are so separated.
For a lot of us, though, it’s the intimacy of sharing the space so close that makes you want to be that much more expressive. When you have a “sardine can” concert, like in Snåsa, you see individual people. Applause isn’t approval of an anonymous aggregate anymore — it is real faces and visible emotion. What was so cool about this concert, though, was that the feeling of intimate, personal connection with the audience kept going after Beautiful Savior, all the way to our home stays.
“Seven big boys” squeeze in on the farm for the fourth meal of the day.
Which brings me back to fourth meal. The family with whom we stayed housed fellow choir members Christian Weeks, Evan Quinnell, Ben Andreae, David Hastings, Jonny Bauman, Mitch Rennie, and me. Seven big boys, with appetites to match. Thankfully, they were used to feeding farm-boy-sized stomachs.
The farm where we stayed was built in the 1860s and the main house was left almost entirely unaltered save the addition of electricity. The ceilings were about 6′ 4″, which made it a tight squeeze for most of us. It felt like stepping into a time capsule (a really snug time capsule).
Johnny Bauman ’13, Christian Weeks ’13, and Ben Andreae ’13 each cradle a barn kitten during their home stay.
Aside from amazing food, we got to play with tiny kittens, the momma barn cat, and Myska, the farm dog who was no less than 70 percent wolf and an absolute sweetheart.
During the concert a calf had been born, so by the time we got back to the farm we got to go see the new baby, and then we stayed up long into the evening (morning?) talking with our hosts about anything and everything.
The experience was the perfect mix of new culture and the taste of home we needed after being away for three weeks. My time in Snåsa will absolutely be among my fondest memories of this incredible tour.
Johnny Bauman ’13, Christian Weeks ’13, Ben Andreae ’13 and Jordan Boucher ’13 with host parents in Snåsa.
Jordan Boucher ’13 and six other choir members were hosted by the grandparents of a student from Snåsa who came to St. Olaf last year.