On June 23-30, members of the Nazareth College Chamber Choir, Women’s Choir, and Men’s Choir embarked on their journey to London, England, to perform in a choral festival.
Article submitted by Andrea Reece, B.M. music education, class of 2013
Big Ben, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, the Underground, red telephone booths: it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out where twenty-four Nazareth College students and faculty toured in late June. On June 23-30, members of the Nazareth College Chamber Choir, Women’s Choir, and Men’s Choir embarked on their journey to London, England, to perform in a choral festival under the direction of Dr. Rollo Dilworth, professor of music at Temple University. Nazareth College was one of six choirs to be selected to perform in this large ensemble.
We performed two concerts: one at Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury (the setting for the famous Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer) and Southwark Cathedral right in London. On the Canterbury concert, our very own Dr. Mario Martinez (baritone) and Dr. James Douthit (piano) performed selections of their choosing. Needless to say, they were fantastic! Additionally, on the Southwark concert, the Nazareth College choristers were featured under the direction of Dr. Mark Zeigler, performing an inspiring rendition of “Laudate dominum” from W.A. Mozart’s Psalm Vespers.
The experience of singing under Dr. Dilworth was musically and professionally enriching; it is one that I will personally remember. Dr. Dilworth is a fantastic choral rehearsal technician; he is animated, encouraging, and friendly. He was really passionate about the music he had chosen for the concert. Having spoken to him directly, he said that he wanted to pick pieces that supported the theme of "music and motion;" all of the pieces encouraged rejoicing and celebrated the movement that comes with such joy. It was especially interesting to see the wide spectrum of ages and various musical backgrounds which comprised the choir. There was a community choir of all women from California; a high school choir from Texas; and even an entire boys’ choir from North Carolina. We were the only college choir in attendance. As a future choral music educator, it was beneficial for me to observe Dr. Rollo Dilworth and take away some of his strategies for conducting such a diversified choir.
As this was a “working vacation,” we were definitely not deprived of the “vacation” aspect of our visit to London. Even in the midst of rehearsals and concerts, there was not one day that we were unable to see something new and exciting. Including the London staples listed above, students saw: London Bridge, Tower Bridge, London Eye, National Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Handel House, British Museum of Popular Music, Abbey Road, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Stonehenge, and many other wonderful points of interest. One small group even saw a Broadway musical at West End; what a treat! Also, let us not forget that the Nazareth College travelers were lucky enough to be experiencing the city of London at a very exciting time: during preparations for the 2012 Olympics!
The Nazareth College Choir trip to London is one for the books; it was a wonderful experience, without a doubt. On that note….cheerio, chaps!
Students who attended the London 2012 trip:
- Christine Power
- Andrea Reece
- Joelle Lachance
- Rachel Biddle
- Rose Thresh
- Sarah Miller
- Reneé Ruscitto
- Gretchen Erlichman
- Carolyn Walters
- Thomas Meade
- Jennifer Mess
- Simona Benenati
- Matthew Derrenbacker
- Cameron Bender
- Correna Keatley