Reinhardt chamber singers Photo courtesy of Reinhardt University
Reinhardt Chamber Singers to perform in Italy
The Reinhardt University Chamber Singers are planning a trip to Italy to perform in multiple venues including a Mass in The Vatican and they need the public’s help in raising money for their trip.
The 43 Chamber Singers need to raise $3,420 each to attend the seven-day Renaissance and Music History Tour of Italy in May 2018.
Dr. Martha Shaw, professor of music and choral director at Reinhardt University in Waleska, said, “Some of the students can work and save money while others have someone who can help them out. Then there are the students who just fight to have a job and school and then also have to get ready for this. They just are in need of assistance, so they can be a part of this experience. It can build them up, educate them further and allow them to one day go out and do this for someone else.”
One way the singers are fundraising is through CD sales. Thanks to a generous gift from Ken White, class of 1961 and vice chair of the Reinhardt Board of Trustees, every dollar of the $20 CD goes to the student fundraiser. “White financed the production of the CD, so all of the money goes into the student accounts,” Shaw said.
In May, the Chamber Singers spent three days recording the CD, “Canciones del Corazon” (Songs of the Heart) which is in the final production stages. The 69-minute recording features varied music including “Romancero Gitano, Op, 152” for choir and guitar, “All The Things You Are,” “Star Dust,” “Dear Appalachia: Songs from My Mountain Home – The Ballard of the One-Armed Man,” Maurice Durufle’s “Ubi caritas et amor,Op10,” “Wondrous Love” arranged by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw and other selections.
“Most choirs just go over there [Italy] and perform,” Shaw said. “We’ve been invited by the organist at The Vatican to learn with him.” Chosen is a quintessential Renaissance piece of music to study with Fabio Avolio, organist for The Vatican, and sing at a mass.
The students will study “Pope Marcellus Mass of Giovanni de Pasestrina” (translated The Pope Marcellus Mass of Palestrina). This piece is quite difficult and 30 minutes long, according to Shaw.
During the trip, students, many have never flown or visited another country, will have the opportunity to perform four concerts in other cities in Italy to include what Shaw calls “authentically American music.” “Most foreign audiences appreciate things like folk music, spirituals and gospel music.
The seven-day trip also will include travels around Italy, sightseeing and learning about history and culture. They will visit Rome, Assisi, Montecatini, Villa Medicea, Florence and Venice.
For the students, Shaw said, the trip is much more than singing, learning about history and taking in the sights. A veteran in travel and chaperoning youth trips overseas, Shaw said she hopes it brings them a global awareness and knowledge of how to travel and navigate through foreign countries. They have to manage a different language and it gives them a better understanding of what it’s like as an immigrant to come to American and deal with language and other differences.
“It gives them compassion for people who travel and an understanding of the beautiful ceremony of the Catholic Church.
To help fund a singer’s trip, contact Reinhardt.edu.