Days before the biggest performance of the year, the music department received news that its choir director, Dr. Matt Strauser, had suffered from a heart attack, but is now in stable condition.
After his heart attack, Dr. Matt Strauser was told by his doctor that he couldn’t conduct for the Christmas concert shortly before their first performance on December 2. But God provided relief in the form of Dan Shuholm, head of the music department, to step in and take over as conductor. As a result of God’s provisions in this situation, the concerts on December 2 and 3 went extremely well.
“It is credit to the way God is working. We realize this is where we give the credit to God,” Shuholm said about the change. Past experiences helped him conduct the choir so well.
Over 150 Corban students performed at the concert. In a combined performance of the chamber orchestra, concert band, percussion ensemble, jazz band, and concert choir, the choir featured different Christmas music, ranging from a groovy jazz version of “What Child is This” to a Russian Christmas music piece.
Krystal Kuehn, a soprano in the concert choir, said, “It went really, really well. We were worried when Dr. Strauser had a heart attack and couldn’t do it. But Shuholm did very well.”
The group worked together very smoothly with very little mistakes. The first songs had audience involvement, as did the last song, when the whole audience rose to sing Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” The crowd was very receptive and the concert had a great turnout.
“The transitions between songs went well and everything kept on going,” Sam Pearson, a percussion player on the concert band, said after the performances.
Even the last-minute director change, the hard work and preparation paid off for the Christmas concert performers and directors, who succeeded in delivering three great performances to help usher in the Christmas season.