Something to Sing About

0

The Chorale in action at St. Simon and Jude Kirche in Prague.

Chorale at Davidson makes magic in the cathedrals of Europe.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

By Bill Giduz

Traditionally, the co llege ’s top vocal ensemble has taken a weeklong bus trip during winter break to perform in cities east of the Mississippi. But this year’s trip required an airplane, and the 30 vocalists in the Davidson Chorale were standing on Prague’s Charles Bridge when 2011 arrived to the chimes of the Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square.

Professor of Music and Choral Director Ray Sprague structured the first-ever European Chorale tour to present classical pieces by Mozart, Haydn, and Handel in cities associated with their work—Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg. The European selections comprised the first half of each evening’s program, while the second half featured American spirituals and a work by Professor of Music and Department Chair Jennifer Stasack.

The singers returned with cherished memories—a Viennese woman’s tears, venues so chilly they could see their breath, sunrise over the Alps. They remembered the resonance of their voices in cathedrals where their pieces were “originally meant to be sung,” as Sarah Porr ’12 said. “We sounded magical,” said Emma Huelskoetter ’13.

Sprague ranks the European tour along with another first in 2006, when under his direction the Concert Choir sang in Carnegie Hall as part of its annual tour. He remarked that only six of the 30 Chorale students are music majors. “One reason I enjoy Davidson is because you get so many students who sing not for a grade or credit, but because they love it,” Sprague said. “That makes a heck of a difference in rehearsal.”

Justin Warren ’12 believes that sharing the fun of the trip—and slipping along Europe’s old cobblestone streets together—will further strengthen Chorale bonds. “It was a blessing that none of us had cell phone use, because we were all fully engaged in the moment with the people around us,” said Jennie Endersby ’11.

Photo Credit: Andrew Chamra

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.