Avina to travel with choir 2013.11.06

A former Fayette resident is joining the Saint Joseph’s College Concert Choir and Chamber Singers on a tour of Italy.

Saint Joseph College (SJC) graduate Ethan Avina is one of five graduates who will join the choir for a series of concerts and religious services at ancient sites rich in history and tradition.

The highlight of the trip will be the closing weekend celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Cappella Giulia at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. The Cappella Giulia is one of the Basilica’s two chapel choirs. As part of its anniversary, notable choirs from around the world were invited to sing, either in concert or Mass, at the Basilica.

The SJC choirs were invited to sing with members of the Resurrection Choir from St. John Cantius Church in Chicago, where SJC’s Concert Choir and Chamber Singers have sung alongside the Resurrection Choir three times since September.

Aside from St. Peter’s Basilica, the group will sing at Masses at major venues in Florence, Siena, Rome, and Pompeii.

The tour schedule is expected to be demanding, with the group singing once or twice a day, usually without any time for practice in the venues. Therefore, everyone must be familiar enough with the music to be able to adapt to varying acoustics, conditions, and unfamiliar settings.

“Nothing shows what your choir is made of more than a performance tour,” said SJC Director of Choirs Kelly Ford. “This tour will be as demanding as any I have taken groups on in the past. There won’t be any time for jet lag.”

Ford sees the tour as the ideal mix of education, culture, and real world experience.

“SJC Choir students get to perform music in an authentic context,” said Ford. “Being able to sing sacred choral music in the actual churches it was written for—not just as a concert, but often within the Mass—provides a connection between faith and intelligence that is the hallmark of learning at SJC."

To keep people updated on their performances and travels Nov. 11 to 19, several members of the tour will share their experiences and photos through Facebook (facebook.com/SaintJosephsCollege) and Twitter (@SJC_Pumas).

St. Joseph’s College is located in Rensselaer, Ind.