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University choir goes on singing tour in Europe

In May 2010, Eastern’s university choir will take flight on their second European tour. The choir takes annual trips across the Northeast, but this will be its first time in Europe since 2004.

During the choir’s 10-day tour, members will travel a great distance across the continent. They will make stops in Austria, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague and two cities in Germany – one of which is Leipzig.

“One of the very important places on the tour is Leipzig because it is where Johann Sebastian Bach made his music,” said Rick Frost, professor and director of the university choir.

Leipzig’s importance ties into one of the purposes of the trip: to teach choir members where their musical heritage comes from.

Frost became very contemplative when asked for a preview of the song selections. When he began to answer, his voice grew excited as he started to reel out genres and song names.  Among the list of songs he named were “Elijah Rock, “Precious Lord, “Over the Rainbow,” “Shenandoah” and the “Haitian Noel.”

“You have to put in that we are going to be singing ‘Oh Happy Day,'” he said at the end of a long list of songs. To tie it all together, he mentioned that the theme is going to be the “Life, Death and Resurrection of Christ.”

The main purpose for the trip is for the choir students to grow spiritually through their ministry of praising God through song. However, for one student, praise is not the only reason to be excited for the trip.

“I believe that music knows no language,” first-year Katie Marsh said in an email interview.  “I’ve developed such a strong passion for it ever since my sophomore year in high school, and I’ve always, always, always wanted to go to Europe.

“It’s one of my dreams I’ve had ever since I was younger and saw pictures of London and other cities,” she said. “And to go there and sing? That would be a dream come true.”

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