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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Choir to perform in Ireland this summer

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Photo by Austin Carey for The Lafayette
The choir has begun preparing for its summer performances in Ireland.

Lafayette’s choral groups are taking their singing talents overseas in an immersive excursion to Ireland.

The choir group will be performing in churches in three Irish cities – Dublin, Galway and Waterford – from May 22 to 30. Members of both the Concert Choir and the Chamber Singers, an audition-only group, will be present, including students already abroad and two members of the alumni choral group.

Jennifer Kelly, associate professor of music, has been conducting the choir with tenor, love and care for 18 years. 

“What I have said is that every four years, we would have an opportunity to go abroad on a performance tour,” Kelly said. “When the pandemic came, that kind of blew that out of the water, so the last tour we went on was in 2019.”

The trip has been made more accessible through donations, according to Kelly.

“I’m very, very grateful for our donors making it possible to help students be able to go who may not otherwise be able to,” Kelly said. “Everybody is being affected by the donors, by the way, because it’s keeping costs down, which is great.”

The choir has already been preparing their repertoire for their abroad performances. Bella Crapanzano ‘26, who has been in the Concert Choir and the Chamber Singers since her first year on campus, shared that the songs they will be singing are songs they have already sung in previous concerts.

“It’s just more of a refresher,” she explained of the rehearsals.

One of the songs included in the repertoire of the vocalists is an Irish song titled “Siúil a Rúin,” which translates in English to “Go, my love.”

Lydia Braasch ’24, a member of both choral groups since her junior year, suggested the song to Kelly. Having Irish roots and a background in choir, she had heard the song often before.

“It’s gonna be so cool performing an Irish song that I’ve been listening to for so long, in Ireland — just a surreal experience,” Braasch said.

The time and location of this year’s trip were chosen by the entire group. Crapanzano said the process was “democratic.”

Ethan Coffin ‘25, also a member of both choral groups since their freshman year, echoed this sentiment. 

“There were debates about what time it should be,” Coffin said. “We all decided that it should be right after school.”

For some in the group, this will be their first time leaving the United States and for others, their first time in Ireland. Braasch is particularly excited to see where her family came from.

“I have a lot of Irish ancestry, so it’s always been a place I wanted to go visit,” Braasch said.

The chorus will be immersed in the culture of Ireland through organized events such as professional Irish dance and instrument lessons and visits to some of the country’s famous sites. Coffin is excited that the school is making time for the students to learn about their destination.

“Although singing is certainly a focus, it’s not the only focus,” Coffin said.

During the eight-day trip, there will be limited time to fully experience the country, but Braasch said the group is up for the challenge.

“I want to maximize the amount of things I can experience in each city, so just kind of studying up on what each city is known for and what you should go do in every city,” Braasch said.

The Concert Choir will be performing songs from their repertoire at the Williams Center for the Arts this Saturday.

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Austin Carey
Austin Carey, Staff Photographer

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  • M

    Mia saccoMay 19, 2024 at 8:41 am

    Beautifully written. Bon voyage to all

    Reply