The following are messages sent by Eric Conway, Chairperson of the Fine Arts Department at Morgan State Univeristy, and Director of the MSU Choir, during their recent tour of Italy.
The Morgan State University Choir and entourage arrived safely in Rome, Italy on Tuesday evening. Although exhausted from international travel, we were forced to schedule the tours of Rome and performance at the Vatican on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 the day after we arrived due to a national holiday in Italy on Thursday June 2, (their Independence day). Our first tour was taken at the historic Roman Coliseum, and then on to the Roman Forum. After lunch, we toured the Vatican Museum, which housed an accumulation of centuries of art work, all made to the Glory of God. After the tour, we sang at St. Peter’s Basilica during their afternoon Mass. Our guide told us that the those who attended the Mass appreciated our music in a way much more demonstrative than typical groups. The Cardinal (not the Pope) who led the Mass, gave us a special acknowledgement including Baltimore, Maryland and Morgan State University! See photos from first few days.
More photos from Italy. Our next important destination was to Florence, Italy. Beyond, seeing more of the greatest artwork know to mankind, the choir participated in Vocal MasterClass with an important Florentine conductor, Giuseppe Lanzetta. He was quite surprised with the vocal artistry that he heard from these African Americans from America. On Sunday, we drove to Bologna, by way of Pisa, where we saw the famous Leaning Tower. That evening we gave a concert in one of the best acoustical halls in all of Italy, the Chiesa di Santa Cristina della Fondazza. Again, see the photos!
Hello everyone again,
This will serve as the last communication from Italy. Every concert was so very different, but extraordinary. The acoustics in every space were consistently pleasurable for the listener as well as the performer. Yesterday, prior to our concert, we spent the day in Venice, the city of aqueducts. Unfortunately it rained the entire day, but we still got a sense of the splendor of the city that seems to be slowly sinking. Last night, we performed in Pordenome, Italy in a cathedral over 600 years old. There were over 700 in attendance. We have a great cultural exchange in our music ( a local choir sang four songs at the beginning) and after the concert, we broke bread together and shared ideas. We have truly been immersed in Italian cultural via the food, sites, and people. Hope to see you when we return.