HCC combined choirs will tour Austria and Germany

The combined choirs of Highland Community College - Highland Chorale, Chamber Singers and Royal Scots - will tour Austria and Germany the week of May 15 for an eight-day series of concerts and cultural and historical tour. Major points of interest will be Salzburg, Munich, Neuschwanstein Castle, Wiesskirche, Ulm, and Rothenberg.

Allen Redford, director of the choirs, said there will be 30 participants with the combined choirs. Students will be not only be performing concerts, but studying language, culture, and history. They will receive two hours of college credit by participating in the lectures and presentations before and during the tour. There will be 16 current Highland students; six members of the Highland Chorale Community Chorus; faculty members, Tracy Mays (German) and Jim Phillips (history), parents, and other community members on the trip.

Combined choirs

Students will spend two days with host families, some of whom were families hosted in Freeport last summer. The tour is funded through self-support, fundraising, and scholarships through the Highland Community College Foundation.

"We are pleased to offer this unique educational opportunity to our students, which will encourage personal growth and enrich lives beyond the classroom," Redford said.

Music to be performed will be sacred and secular pieces from the standard HCC Chorale repertoire; compositions by Morley and Victoria; American Folk songs and spirituals. Featured concerts will be a number of works by Patrick Beckman (of Freeport), including his "Alleluia" and "Agnus Dei" from the Mass of Thomas Merton. This piece was first performed by the Highland Chorale in 1994 in the Salzburg Cathedral. Other songs by Beckman will be "Song for Noah" (based on Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3), first performed by the Highland Chorale at the Coronado Theatre in Rockford, and "When Families Are Together," written by Patrick Beckman, John Webb and Mike Dobbins.

This trip marks the fourth time that the Chorale will tour Europe, featuring the choral works of Patrick Beckman. Other tours have included his "Easter Mass" in 1996 at the Vatican, and performances of his "Song of the Earth" (commissioned by the American Composers Forum & National Endowment for the Arts), which was performed in 2000, throughout Europe.

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Freeport, IL 61032-9341

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