Benedictine College Chamber Singers tour Italy over Christmas break

The Chamber Singers pose in front of St. Peter's Basilica. Photo courtesy of Timothy Tharaldson

By Lauren Bauer, The Circuit

On Jan. 4, the Benedictine College Chamber Singers returned from a 10-day tour of Italy. The 27 choir members, led by director Dr. Timothy Tharaldson, traveled to Venice, Florence, Assisi and Rome.

The choir sang at Masses throughout Italy at a variety of basilicas and churches including the Basilica di San Marco in Venice, the Chiesa Santa Trinita in Florence and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  The trip concluded with a concert at the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola in Rome.

While the trip held many experiences, one stood out in particular to senior Katie Ross.

“On our first day in Rome we went to the catacombs and we were able to sing inside,” Ross said. “That was a really big moment, thinking about all the people that had died for the faith and we were able to sing a song about Christ.

“We are all Christians in a lot of ways because of those martyrs. So that was really big.”

Some other moments of the trip included seeing Pope Francis at his General Audience and singing at a Mass at which Pope Francis celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica.

“Everywhere we sang people were really positive with feedback,” she said. “We got a standing ovation and I think it speaks to where our choral program is at.

“It really shows how far our choral program has come.”

For freshman Sarah Koster, the trip had a great impact on her.

“I think it laid a great foundation for what we are capable of, Koster said. 
“I hope to be in Chamber Singers the rest of my years here, so it is a great thing to hold yourself to. It was really encouraging and it created a really great support system. It was a really great opener for me and the other three freshman.”

While this was the Chamber Singer’s first trip to Italy, there are plans for another trip in Dec. 2020.