Rome International Choral Festival Features Rhodes Music Chair
Publication Date: 8/2/2010
Dr. William Skoog, chair of the Rhodes Department of Music, conducted the second annual Rome International Choral Festival held in July. The festival included some members of the Rhodes Singers and MasterSingers in a mass-choir performance at Saint Peter′s Basilica in the Vatican and the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome. Kristin Lensch, adjunct faculty of music at Rhodes, served as assistant director and organist.
Over 120 singers participated, including choirs from Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington State and Louisiana. Rhodes Singers (students) included Stephen Spainhour, Stephanie Milazzo, Michael Pluta, Erick DeVore, Laura McLain and Jordan Perchik.
Selections included compositions by Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, Gounod, Moses Hogan, Malcolm Boyle and Andrew Lloyd Webber, among others, and the Etruscan Orchestra from Florence, Italy, served as the professional orchestra in Rome.
The trip also included a tour and additional performances in Florence, Italy and in Nice, in the southern portion of France.
“The trip was extraordinary in every regard. The rehearsals and touring aspects of the trip were daunting and challenging but incredibly rewarding,” remarks Skoog. “Singers from Rhodes were able to experience participating in a festival choir gathered from different points across the U. S., rehearse and perform in Europe, and become one choir and one community abroad. They also had the privilege of experiencing many different cities in two different arts-rich countries, taking in historical and cultural perspectives. In short, horizons were broadened and souls deepened. The number one word heard throughout the tour was ‘Wow!’ ”
In addition, Skoog serves as founding artistic director of the National Presidents’ Day Choral Festival to be held in Washington, D.C. in February 2011, and was recently invited to conduct the Salzburg International Choral Festival in 2012.