Eighty singers of Loyola Marymount University’s concert choir, women’s chorus and consort singers performed in Europe on June 15 to 23, the second time that the choruses performed abroad; their previous performance was in Italy two years ago.
“The concerts were consistent with the excellence we strive for in all of our performances,” said Mary Breden, director of choral activities and chair of the Department of Music. “We shared our music with people in other countries and experienced their culture in return.”
The LMU choruses performed in the Alte Peterkirche in Munich, Germany, the Residenz Salzburg–Rittersaal in Salzburg, Austria, and the Votivkirche in Vienna, Austria. They performed songs by Bach, Brahms and Mozart as well as spiritual and folksong arrangements by American composers Hal Johnson and James Erb. In addition, the choruses sang “O Rex Gloriae,” the work commissioned by LMU for its centennial that was written by Z. Randall Stroope. Breden said performing abroad gives students an opportunity to learn something that can’t be taught in the classroom or by reading a book.
“The students were able to step into history,” Breden said. “It’s thrilling to see where these composers lived and worked, and to possibly walk on the same cobblestones that Mozart may have walked on. It goes beyond what we can give them in a classroom setting.”
In addition, students visited the Glockenspiel in Munich; two castles, the Melk Benedictine Abbey and Danube River; and the Central Cemetery in Vienna, the burial grounds for Viennese composers including Beethoven, Schubert and Johann Strauss.