Chapel Choir to tour Europe's finest countries

By Sonali Basak

Senior Writer

The Rooke Chapel Choir will embark on its annual tour in Europe on May 21, the day after Commencement. The choir will travel until May 30.

Current seniors are also attending. “I am thrilled to be attending this year as well,” Nicole Lake ’12 said. “It is a perfect way to cap off my Bucknell experience with some of my closest friends sharing beautiful music around the world.”

First-year choir members are equally excited for the tour. Katie Long ’15 said she has already seen photos of the trip and the locations are “absolutely beautiful.” The group is led by professor of music Dr. William Payn, whom the group “loves and adores,” Lake said.

This year, the group will tour Italy, Slovenia and Croatia through the company Encore Tours. Last year, the group toured Poland and the Czech Republic. Two years ago, the group toured the U.K. and Greece.

Lake said there are concerts scheduled, but the group also does a lot of improvisational singing.

“When we were in Greece two years ago, we spontaneously sang in one of the ancient amphitheaters and of course for people who were just curious as to what we sounded like,”  she said.

Becca Nelson ’12 and Matt Micco ’12 were the tour coordinators this year. According to Nelson, the tour was set last March and the group had a choice between going to just Slovenia, or Slovenia, Italy and Croatia.

“We couldn’t imagine passing up the opportunity to perform in Venice,” Nelson said. “I’m most excited to sing in really old venues. Since most of these buildings were built before sound systems were invented, the rooms are designed to have phenomenal acoustics.”

The group will get time to explore each city and sing to different audiences. Their itinerary first brings them to Venice, Italy where they will sing in Chiessa San Rocco, then they will head to Ljubljana, Slovenia and discover Slovenian caves and perform at St. James’ Church. Of all the venues the choir will perform in, Nelson is most excited to sing in these caves.

Next, the group will travel to Dubrovnik, Croatia where they will explore Split, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, and sing at St. Ignatius Church.

“Chapel Choir is so special because we all are capable of creating such beautiful music together and I am really looking forward to being able to do this in an equally beautiful venue. As a first-year, I feel incredibly privileged to have been given this opportunity, and I cannot wait for tour,” Long said.

The choir plans to sing a range of songs it has sung throughout the year. This tour is one of many accomplishments for the choir, which is most well-known for its Christmas Candlelight Service each winter, aired on PBS. The choir sings at Rooke Chapel Protestant Service about three times each month and occasionally at churches in the Lewisburg area. The Chapel Choir Spring Concert will be at 7:30 p.m. this Sunday in Rooke Chapel, when the group will sing what they have prepared for the tour.

“I adore the music that we make together and think that we are one of Bucknell’s hidden gems and that we are so privileged to be able to share this music with the world,” Lake said.



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