COLLEGE PLACE -- For years, bringing the evocative music of the Oregon Adventist Men's Chorus to his home country was Alin Apostol's dream, but on Saturday Apostol and his Adventist Men's Chorus of Romania will bring their music back to the area.
While a student at then-Walla Walla College, Apostol sang in the OAMC, an experience that inspired him to create a Romanian equivalent while later serving as a pastor in Romania.
"When I first sang in OAMC I knew something like this must happen in my country, there was no such music there, the only music was very dry, people don't open up easy and it's that way about their music too, they're not as expressive as they are in the U.S. about their music," Apostol said by e-mail.
But the music of the OAMC was not the only thing that surprised him when he arrived in America. When Apostol arrived in the Walla Walla Valley in 1999, he said he was impressed by the friendliness and openness of the people, who supported him as he struggled with the language barrier. "They smiled they asked how you are you doing, this is something you don't see in a communist country."
Excited to return to a place that is "near and dear" to his heart, Apostol will conduct his chorus, which will perform in conjunction with the OAMC, at the University Church at 4 p.m. on Saturday. This will be the third stop of the joint-choir tour through the Northwest.
While in the Valley, Apostol hopes to visit "some friends," including Martha Losey, who along with her late husband, Jimmie, brought Apostol to America and provided him with a home while he pursued his studies. While here, Apostol also plans to devote some time to his third great passion -- soccer.
Omar Ihmoda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.