Chamber Singers to spend 10 days in Italy

By Candice Navi

Chamber Singers will travel through Italy by bus over spring break, visiting cities such as Rome, Pisa, Motecatini, Florence, Mestre and Venice. Director of the Choral Deparment Rodger Guerrero, music teacher Shawn Costantino and accompanist Chip Colvin will join them.

The group leaves tomorrow and returns April 4. They will perform and rehearse constantly for multiple performance festivals at which they will interact with Italian students and performers.

Despite their rehearsal-filled itinerary, the students will also be taking many guided tours through different parts of Italy, such as the Vatican, Pisa and Rome. They will also be able to experience Italy for themselves, with blocks of time designated for personal exploration. The students will partake in multiple performances, the first of which is a music festival conducted by Rollo Dilworth, assistant professor of music and choral program director at North Park University in Chicago.

The trip will be led by Kingsway International Concerts, which assists in the foreign travels of groups, particularly ensembles.

Guerrero eagerly awaits the trip for its cultural value.

“Italy is a visual and performing artist’s playground, with museums, historical monuments, and cathedrals galore,” Guerrero said. “An entire Renaissance choral school has its roots in Venice.  To be able to perform something like the ‘Pater Noster’ by Jakob Handl, a composer from the Venetian School, in St. Mark’s in Venice? Priceless!”

This is not the first time a Harvard-Westlake choir has gone to Italy specifically, but it will be Guerrero’s first time visiting the country with the Chamber Singers. The preparation for the concert has been extensive, as the student singers will be performing over 15 different songs of varying length. The different categories of music which have been prepared include secular, sacred, and festival music.

“We have been working on this music all year, so the singers will be very well-prepared by the time we leave,” Guerrero said.