SAU Buzz

St. Ambrose Chamber Singers Head Overseas

by Jessica Karolczak
Posted on Apr 27, 2017

Some Ambrosians will be going back to their roots as the SAU Chamber Singers journey to Milan, where St. Ambrose was bishop, to perform and explore from May 14 through May 23. The 22 members of the choir plus seven staff members and their spouses will also tour Italy and Austria by visiting and singing in Florence, Venice, Salzburg and Vienna.  

“It’s about getting the word out and celebrating music,” Kayla Lansing, SAU junior and member of the choir, said.

Dr. Nathan Windt, the choral director at SAU, suggested this experience after travelling internationally with his former school and studying abroad four or five other times.

“This will give students a deeper and broader perspective of what they are learning,” Windt said. “Music is not without history. It’s a dynamic history that we can participate with.”

With a tour company in Colorado Springs coordinating most of the trip, Windt focuses on preparing the choir for the three concerts and one to two masses they will perform at while abroad. Their selections include a variety of pieces that connect with the places the choir will be visiting. This includes Italian sacred music, Mozart, Renaissance music, Shakespeare- inspired songs, and five pieces about Milan written by SAU music professor William Campbell. In addition, the choir plans to bring some traditional American-style pieces overseas with some American folk songs and African-American spirituals.

In addition to performing in grand cathedrals, such as the Votivkirche in Vienna, the choir will have time to explore Mozart’s hometown, art museums, the Venetian canals and other historical sites. Their itinerary also includes stops at authentic restaurants that represent the towns they visit, and free time for the students to seize other opportunities in the cities they stop at.

“I’m looking forward to learning different cultures, trying new foods and learning parts of other languages,” Lansing said. “I like seeing how places are different from us.”

This is the first time in about 30 years SAU students in choir are getting the opportunity to travel internationally. The choir did travel to Minneapolis to recruit new students to SAU last year, but this European tour will be the start of SAU choirs’ chances for international travel. The hope is to offer the trip every three to four years so every student has the opportunity, Windt said.

The Chamber Singers is an elite group consisting of students with a variety of majors, Windt said. Anyone may audition for the group at the beginning of the school year, and all their concerts are free and open to the public. The choir will be performing their 80-minute program of their international tour songs in Christ the King Chapel on the SAU campus on April 27 at 7:30 p.m.