Tour is History

Oasis Chorale Tour 2012 is history. We’re trying to smile because it happened and not weep because it’s over. It’s a bit of a let down to start the day knowing that we won’t see any of those cheery faces we’ve been accustomed to seeing every day for the past 2 weeks. But we return to our respective duties feeling richer for the friendships we’ve strengthened or begun and with phrases from our songs stamped deep into our hearts.
Our tour ended with many of us battling a friendly little stomach bug, but we didn’t let that stop us! Our final concert was given to an overflow crowd at Sandy Ridge Mennonite Church in Bourbon, IN. They graciously allowed us to use their building for rehearsal at the beginning of tour and housed us for many nights both at the beginning and the end. They also fed us more food than we could measure. Thank You, Sandy Ridge friends! We closed out our Sunday with one Last Supper and sitting around talking and enjoying each other’s stories.
Monday morning found most of us enjoying our final time together over breakfast at Maria’s House of Pancakes before heading in every direction toward our homes and the real world. We remember that no matter where our varied paths take us, there is One who is with us and who said: “I will not leave you comfortless…I will come again to you…and your heart shall rejoice!”

Recording At Goshen College/Sauder Hall

We’ve spent the past two days recording at Goshen College in the Sauder Concert Hall, which has been dubbed “a leading performance venue in the Midwest.” The warm acoustic is delightful. Our comfortable schedule leaves us time for more tracks and retakes tomorrow. We are privileged once again to work with recording engineer Brad Zabelski. He is so laid-back and keeps things running so smoothly! We had a short break from choir music this evening as the choir came together to put on an impromptu recital. Choir members shared German love songs, piano and violin pieces, compositions, and interactive folk songs. Brad even played Bach for us on his mandolin!

Back to Indiana

Yesterday we made the quick trip from Ohio to Indiana. We arrived at Fair Haven Church in the afternoon. After a short rest, we all gathered in the sanctuary for a timely rehearsal, followed by sectional practice. We enjoyed a delicious meal provided by the congregation before the concert. It is fascinating that as we make music together, we continue to shape and mold our sound, and we are excited that our music continues to grow as we more fully understand it. After the concert, we filled our beloved bus and were transported to Goshen College where we will be staying during our recording weekend.

Travel and United Bethel – Plain City, OH

Monday was a much-needed day of vocal rest which we spent traveling from Illinois to Ohio. We arrived in a Midwestern meltdown in the town of Plain City, Ohio around 6:00 in the evening. We enjoyed pizza and some exercise in a local gym.
On Tuesday, United Bethel Mennonite Church hosted our clinic day with Dr. Jay White (a professor of voice at Kent State University and a former member of Chanticleer!) What a fantastic day! Dr. White gave us professional advice while maintaining a low-key environment, and he gave us great tips on how to improve when our sound gets “wonky.” His insight will definitely be beneficial as we move into recording mode. We ended the day with a Q&A session. A special thank you to the United Bethel food committee for providing meals for us!
Our evening concert was very special after our full day rehearsal. Tomorrow? Back to Indiana!

Sunday in Arthur, IL

We enjoyed sharing in worship with Cynthia’s church, Living Word Fellowship in Arthur, Illinois this morning. We gave an abbreviated concert before hearing a challenging sermon on “Keep your hearts with all diligence…” Following church, we worked our way through two very generous lines of food; one contained gourmet potatoes and scrumptious salads while the other offered a delectable array of delicious desserts.
After a relaxing Sunday afternoon we made our way to Sunnyside Mennonite Church, Arcola, Illinois. We were warmly welcomed with a “light” supper before singing to a packed church of eager listeners. We enjoyed singing parts of several of our songs with them. What a joyful noise such a crowd made! After sufficient post program chat time we headed to Cynthia’s house. Once more we were blessed with mounds of lovely food and gallons of drink which we consumed amidst much laughter and camaraderie. We’re looking forward to a chance to relax our voices a bit today after giving four concerts in three days.

Bethany Church

We were privileged to be with the Bethany Church congregation in the greater Chicago area last evening. After a necessary afternoon rehearsal, we had our first taste of the exquisite Romanian hospitality at dinner. We relaxed as we prepared for our second concert, which was broadcasted live due to the technical proficiency of the congregation. The pastor at Bethany Church graciously welcomed us after the youth band opened the service with music. We were encouraged by the spirit of our fellow believers there. Franklin Miller shared a message in Romanian, which was an extra special connection for the congregation. After the concert, we were blessed with more food and fellowship. We all enjoyed our host families immensely! Thank you for your love and care! God bless you!

Now after lunch eaten at various and sundry restaurants, we dashed through the rain to the bus and are nearly ready to disembark at the First United Methodist Church in Champaign, Illinois.

Live Streamed Concert/Post Concert Link

The choir will be streaming live tonight from Bethany Romanian Pentacostal Church in the greater Chicago metro area.  To access the live feed, go to  In the upper right hand corner of the page there is an English option (it has a flag next to it).  Then click the “live” button on the front page, and choose the appropriate option for you. 
The service will begin at 7:00 Central time, with 20-30 minutes of singing & prayer, and then Oasis will begin their portion of the evening around 7:30 (+/-10 mins). 

If you missed the live event you can view it here (at least for a time).…

Rehearsal Day 1 & 2

Today, as with yesterday, the rehearsal is progressing. Wendell is really urging the choir to excellence through precise rhythms, beautiful vowels, and slender consonants. God has been really good to us by surrounding the choir with many people of sacrificial mind and hands. We have been sleeping well and enjoying very healthy meals. The work of rehearsal goes on joyfully and smoothly when there is this sense of care between each member and the community. Travel fatigue is being felt a bit yet the urgency of tomorrow’s concert helps us keep focus on the work of crafting fine music for ministering and worship. We hope to see and sing for you at one or more of our up coming concerts.

Concert Streaming Link

The Oasis Chorale will be streaming live on Friday evening from Bethany Romanian Pentacostal Church in the greater Chicago metro area. To access the live feed, go to In the upper right hand corner of the page there is an English option (it has a flag next to it). Then click the “live” button on the front page, and choose the appropriate option for you. I’ve included a screen shot for your convenience.

The service will begin at 7:00 Central time, with 20-30 minutes of singing & prayer, and then Oasis will begin their portion of the evening around 7:30 (+/-10 mins).

You may also feel free to distribute this information to anyone who wants it.


Flutter of Preparations

Tour 2012 is nearly upon us! The singers are hard at work moving their songs to 99% memorized and the administrative committee is hard at work tying up loose ends. For me that is getting the sales table stuff ready for the trip to Indiana besides paying some bills and etc. All that stuffed in between an already busy life makes this a challenge for me and I know the singers find it similar but for all it is rewarding. I am very excited about this years program and the opportunities presented to the choir. I’m sorry that I won’t be privileged to hear any concerts myself this year!
Keep checking back as the plan is to have regular (daily?) updates from the choir posted here. You can also see shorter posts on Facebook at

May God’s Kingdom be expanded and His beauty portrayed by the ministry of Oasis Chorale!

Dwight Stoltzfoos
OC Treasurer/Sales/Web editor

Oasis Chorale Personnel 2012

This is the list of choir members who sang with the 2012 Oasis Chorale. 
Conductor: Wendell Nisly

Soprano 1

  • Rosemary Eberly
  • Kendra Miller
  • Jeanene Nisly
  • Joanna Sommers

Soprano 2

  • Anna Zehr
  • Regina Brubaker
  • Cynthia Diener
  • DeLora Neushwander
  • Edith Schrock

Alto 1

  • Esther Swartzentruber
  • Lana Martin
  • Peggy Byler
  • Phoebe Beiler
  • Rachel Mast

 Alto 2

  • Fern Ebersole
  • Bettina Yoder
  • Kristin Nolt
  • Debbie Miller
  • Laura Conley

Tenor 1

  • Daniel Miller
  • Franklin Miller
  • Charles Burkholder
  • Ryan Eby

Tenor 2

  • Daniel Fisher
  • Duane Troyer
  • Darcy Jantzi
  • James Swartz
  • Philip Lebold

Bass 1

  • Curtis Martin
  • Jesse Diller
  • Lee Weaver
  • Joseph Ebersole

 Bass 2

  • Tony Beachy
  • Lavelle Beiler
  • Gene Miller
  • Trell Miller