Chorales Sing in Italy
by Carolyn Tuttle, Director of Choral Music
On December 29, 2017, 20 students from the Upper School Chorale and Honors Chorale traveled to Rome, Vatican City and Assisi for the Heart of Italy Choir Tour. Students embarked on an eight day journey to sing at a Papal Mass on New Year’s Day, tour the ancient city, tour the Sistine Chapel and perform at the Basilica of St. Ignatius.
Throughout the week, students loved touring famous sights and singing in the cavernous churches, but the highlight was being able to sing for the Pope. The Papal Mass was held in St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world. Students got to the Vatican early to wait for the gates to open as we were escorted behind the walls to the back entrance. Students sat ten rows from the Papal altar and alongside the Sistine Chapel Choir, one of the most elite choirs in the world. Students had all the chants of the mass memorized and sang along in perfect unison. There was a collective gasp when the Pope was in view for the first time.
I heard many students say that their hard work finally paid off from the hours of rehearsal we spent learning the mass music prior to arrival. It was truly a trip of a lifetime for these students and I am so extremely proud of the way they sang, the way they represented themselves, and the way the looked after one another.