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Lindsey Wilson Singers in Italy 2012
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Singers Tour, Perform in Switzerland and Italy

Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 [2:59 PM]

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- A group of Lindsey Wilson College students recently took a musical journey of a lifetime. The 13 LWC students participated in the Rome International Choral Festival in late June.

The students joined more than 150 other American singers to give concerts at St. Peter's Basilica and the Basilica of Saint Maria Sopra Minerva.

"It's really hard to put into words what this experience means to our students and choral program," said LWC Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Programs Gerald Chafin, who led the tour. "It was such a tremendous experience that broadened our students' perspectives in innumerable ways."

The LWC group also toured Lugano, Switzerland, as well as the Italian cities of Florence, Milan, Rome, Siena, Venice and Verona.

"I know that later I'm going to remember a lot of things from this trip, but right now my head is still spinning because it was just an incredible experience," said LWC student Allison Chafin of Columbia.

Some of the famous sights the LWC group explored included the balcony in Verona mentioned in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, ancient Roman ruins and the Vatican City. They also saw Pope Benedict XVI from a couple hundred yards when the pontiff made a public appearance to attend the funeral of a Vatican official.

"Overwhelming" was the adjective several other students used to describe the experience of touring and performing in Switzerland and Italy.

"It's still kind of overwhelming. I don't know if I've taken it all in yet," said LWC Singer Andrew Ferguson of Columbia. "We toured six or seven hours a day, so we saw six or seven hours of stuff a day for eight days, plus we gave some great performances."

LWC had a total of 15 voices in the 172-member choir: the 13 LWC students plus alumnus Tyler McCubbins and Gerald Chafin.

Adding to the experience for the LWC group was that student Chelsea Pike of Campbellsville, Ky., was invited to perform a solo at a performance at the Basilica of Saint Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome.

"Singing at the Basilica of Saint Maria place was one of the most meaningful experiences we had," Ferguson said. "The fact that Chelsea got to do a solo made it more meaningful because we had one of our own in the spotlight."

To make the trip the students paid a good portion of the cost with the remainder covered by donations from LWC alumni and friends.

"The fact that they want to see Lindsey Wilson prosper and for us to get the most out of our college experience really made a difference to us," Allison Chafin said. "I'm just so touched when people who have been blessed financially use some of their money to change other people's lives. It makes me want to do the same thing for the college later in my life."

The LWC students  who made the trip were: Trey Ball of Strunk, Ky.; John Brown of Albany, Ky.; Jacob Bryant of Louisville, Ky.; Allison Chafin of Columbia; Amber Clark of Kennesaw, Ga.; Kailyn Conner of Albany, Ky.; Andrew Ferguson of Columbia; Haley Hicks of Edmonton, Ky.; Gloria Moore of Columbia; Chelsea Pike of Campbellsville, Ky.; Emily Ramage of Columbia; Christian Talley of Columbia; and Lydia Tiller of Columbia.

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