MEMBERS OF THE Ripon College Chamber Singers will tour the Midwest March 9 to 13.   			      submitted photo
MEMBERS OF THE Ripon College Chamber Singers will tour the Midwest March 9 to 13. submitted photo

     The fact that the name of Ripon College’s choral director mirrors that of a famous movie director isn’t lost on his students.

    “Last year, they brought all John Hughes movies, which was pretty funny,” said Ripon’s John Hughes, referring to movies shown on a bus ride by his students during the Chamber Singers’ winter tour in 2017.

     Funnier still, he noted, these youngsters hadn’t ever seen most of the seminal ’80s flicks written by the choral director’s twin.

     The singers knew little of the Hollywood director’s work. Yet, in a very real way, they got to live out some of those central themes the movie director focused on time and again.

     Leaving home. Finding common ties with students around you. Breaking out into the real world, ready or not.

     “They really get to bond as a group,” their professor said.

     And, thanks to Ripon’s John Hughes, they got to experience some of those threads while helping recruit future musicians to come to Ripon College.

     It's all part of an old tradition Hughes resurrected a few years ago when he came to Ripon College to lead the choral program.

    “The college where I went had a big touring program with both the band and the choir,” he said. “My fondest memories from college were singing in the choir and particularly going on tours. And, so, I knew I wanted to create that opportunity for my students.”

     Choir singers from Ripon College toured in a similar manner back in the ’70s and ’80s, Hughes said, but not regularly again until recently.

     This year, the group will travel in a loop around the upper Midwest, stopping in St. Paul, Minn.; Green Bay; Sun Prairie, Wis.; Round Lake, Ill.; and Fond du Lac. ...

     To read the entire column, see the Feb. 22, 2018 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.