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Marist Choral Program participates in World Choral Fest in Austria

Posted by On August 06, 2018

Marist Choral Program participates in World Choral Fest in Austria

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Highlights from the 32nd Marist College Silver Needle Runway & Awards

A group of 30 Marist students and recent alumni from the college’s choral program made a trip to Austria, sharing their musical talents in the land of Mozart, Haydn and Schubert. The Marist Singers gave several public concerts at historic venues in Vienna, Mondsee, Hallstatt and Eisenstadt before heading to Mozart’s hometown of Salzburg to participate in the World Choral Fest, the aim of which is “bringing the world together in song.”

World Choral Fest, which was held June 29-July 3, brings individua l musicians together from all over the world in one ensemble to work with professional composers, clinicians and musicians that are among the best in their field.

The festival culminated in a performance of both classic and new choral works inside the elegant Salzburg Cathedral, where the public gave them a standing ovation.

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Hopewell Junction resident Mike Coppola, Class of 2020, a history/adolescence education major, and Christine Bjorkman, Class of 2021, a Highland Mills, Orange County resident who is a psychology/special education major, share their experience about participating in the international festival.

Coppola: “As I reflect on my time in Austria, I reali ze that I have experienced one of the most humbling yet empowering 10 days of my life. As a percussionist as well as a vocalist, I was fortunate enough to join my World Choral Fest colleagues in the town square of historic Hallstatt for the world premiere of the 'Halstatt Carol' by Tony Silvestri. We enjoyed this unique opportunity to pay tribute to the land that had welcomed us so warmly, and indeed the burgermeister, or mayor, of Hallstatt personally thanked our choir directors for their contributions.

"I will forever be indebted to Sarah Williams, Marist’s director of Choral Activities, for making this trip a reality for us and granting us the experience of a lifetime. Nothing will ever quite beat the view of the beautiful village of Hallstatt, nestled into the side of the Alps, as I performed with the dear friends I have grown to love. Ultimately, as beautiful as this experience was, it served as a sobering reminder of the fleeting nature of moments.

"Over our 10 days in Austria, I was fortunate enough to share my passion for singing with those I love in the cradle of human history. I used to dream of wandering through the cobblestoned streets of Europe, imbued with the rich history and culture of generations, and of walking through Salzburg surrounded by the majesty of the Alps; the reality did not disappoint. Now back at home in New York, I must thank my dear friends â€" new and old alike â€" for their companionship, love and passion because without them, the moment we lived would not have been possible. For what is a moment that goes unshared? People don’t necessarily remember the things you did so much as the way you’ve made them feel. Our experience as a group in Austria unified us as a choir, as friends and as colleagues. We are truly family.”

Bjorkman: “As a musician, it was an incredible opportunity to be able to both perform and tour in Austria. While I was aware of the many historic al aspects of Austria, I was not prepared for the abundant beauty that surrounded us throughout the country. From the historic streets of Vienna and Salzburg, to the intricately painted ceilings at the Esterhazy Palace, there was always something dazzling to take in.

"One of my favorite memories from the trip is a boat ride in the picturesque town of Hallstatt after a performance with the World Choral Festival. I’ll never forget the magic of being out on the water on a sunny day, surrounded by the magnificence of the Alps. The most meaningful part of the trip was being able to share these incredible experiences with friends both new and old, and creating bonds through our shared love of music. Being able to not only sing together, but to create music in the storied halls and cathedrals where Mozart and Haydn once performed was an incomparable experience.

"During our concert at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, I was especially overwhelmed with emotion. At that moment, I was completely aware of the significance of what we were given the opportunity to do. We were doing what we loved most as singers and we were able to share our voices with people from all around the world. As our choral director Sarah Williams often reminded us, each time we sang, we were adding another layer to the many performances that had come before us over the years, and I am grateful to be a small part of those musical layers.

"There are not enough words to express my gratitude for the experiences we had on this tour, and I feel so fortunate to have been a part of it. Austria, the memories and the music we created through Marist will forever hold a special place in my heart.”

Read or Share this story: https://pojonews.co/2Ml6N49Source: Google News Austria | Netizen 24 Austria

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