Young Washington County woman sings in Holy Land

January 07, 2008|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

A week after her college choir sang in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, Kat Angle hadn't fully sorted out how the trip affected her.

She saw places she read about in the Bible.

She took communion at the Mount of Olives.

Music, though, was the heart and soul of Angle's tour through Israel and Jordan.

Angle, a 2005 Boonsboro High School graduate, is a junior at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn.

Her college's a cappella choir visited the Middle East with other groups from the South. She said they showcased Christianity through their music, making it "more of a mission-type trip."

Her 12-day trip culminated with an outdoor Christmas Eve concert.

Bethlehem's Manger Square was packed; tens of thousands of people were expected. Angle called it "the biggest concert I ever sang in."


"To sing the 'Messiah' was amazing," she said. "That's how it was intended to be."

During the trip, the choir also performed "Go Tell it on the Mountain" and "Breath of Heaven," and a piece called "Te Deum," which Angle called powerful and expressive.

She said some music was challenging, but she felt well-prepared. The Christmas Eve concert was her choir's fourth performance during the trip.

The group started in Tel Aviv, and looped north to the Sea of Galilee, then south along the Jordan River to Jericho, and into Jordan, before stopping in Jerusalem.

Angle said the choir was supposed to perform for Jordan's king and queen, but that didn't materialize.

However, she met Grammy-winning tenor Stuart Neill, one of a few Metropolitan Opera singers who traveled with the groups.

Other highlights, Angle said, were swimming in the Dead Sea and seeing Via Dolorosa, which is thought to be the path Jesus Christ traveled before he died.

"Walking that affected me the most," Angle said.

Seeing so many biblical sites "kind of made Scripture come to life," she said. "It makes your faith that much more concrete."

Angle, 20, is studying music education with an eye toward graduate school, to become a teacher. She will do her student teaching next spring.

She's also thinking seriously about doing mission work, maybe teaching in Africa.

Seeing poor conditions in parts of the Middle East ? desperate, shoeless children ? "tugged at my heart," Angle said.

The oldest of four children, she's been on mission trips to Michigan, Maine and a few other places through a church youth group.

"Kat's always had a big heart to help others," said her mother, Jayne.

Kat Angle hopes to visit Cape Town, South Africa, for about 10 days this year for another taste of mission work.

"I might as well see if I'm cut out for it," she said.

The Herald-Mail Articles