by Zoey Nelsonfirstname.lastname@example.org
After twelve years of teaching, current vocal instructor and chapel planning adviser Tim Van Voorst will be leaving PC at the end of the 19-20 school year. Van Voorst will be moving his teaching to Unity Christian High School in Orange City, Iowa, and taking on the role of choir director. This was not an easy decision for Van Voorst, but ultimately family is a top priority for him and his wife. “It was really a family decision – almost all of my family and all of Jeana’s family live within 30 miles of Orange City, so it will be nice to be living closer to family and for our son James to be close to his grandparents and cousins,” said Van Voorst.
Currently, Unity Christian is without a choir teacher, so their band teacher has been filling in for the past school year. “I’m excited for a fresh start in a new school. I think everyone will be very excited to be together again making music, and I’m excited to be a piece of that new beginning at Unity,” Van Voorst explained.
With all that is going on surrounding the Coronavirus, Van Voorst empathizes with the seniors and many other students whose last year has been cut short. “We plan to move to Orange City in June, so it’s hard not knowing if we’ll be able to say goodbye in person to students, coworkers, and friends,” said Van Voorst.
Van Voorst also has felt the struggle of adapting to a virtual class. “It’s been so hard! I miss working face-to-face with the students at Pella Christian! Choir is not a class that lends itself well to online learning,” Van Voorst explained. “Music is about collaborating in real-time and responding simultaneously to the music based on the feedback of those surrounding you. It’s many voices working together to be united as one choir. That cannot be replicated with a virtual choir or online learning,” Van Voorst admitted.
This has definitely been a time of reflection for Van Voorst, and PC has brought a lot of memories that he can hold on to far after his time here. “It’s hard to pick just one (memory). Directing Concert Choir singing “The Conversion of Saul” by Z. Randall Stroope at the 2018 Dordt Choir Festival, being the music director for Les Miserables and Newsies! – not too many schools can pull those off–and commissioning a new choral work “Song of Zechariah” with concert band accompaniment for the Christmas Concert a few years ago would all be at the top of my list,” claimed Van Voorst.
PC students will miss Van Voorst and the memories that were made in his classes. “I am really going to miss Mr. Van Voorst for his really great sense of humor and hard work ethic that not only pushed the choirs but made them really fun to be a part of,” said senior Colby De Vries.
For junior Carson Breon, Van Voorst was more than a choir director. “He’s not only a great teacher, but he’s honestly a great friend and has a great sense of humor. The whole school appreciates his personality and his dedication to education and friendship,” he said. “He’s the greatest teacher I’ve ever had. He’s taught all of us so much, and I’ve been lucky enough to be around him a lot and all the opportunities he’s provided around choir.”