The Concordia Men’s Chorus and Donne di Canto (Women of Song) enjoyed an exciting tour of Austria in May 2016. The choirs performed at the Stephansdom in Vienna where everyone’s eyes opened wide as they heard their voices ringing through this magnificent cathedral. The second day in Vienna, the choirs sang with Coro Siamo at the Votivkirche; the combined choirs closed the concert with Bruckner’s “Os justi” and Hampton’s “Praise His Holy Name.” Concordia students enjoyed meeting the members of Coro Siamo who were so gracious and welcoming. Next, the choirs traveled to Linz and performed at the Ursulinenkirche; here the women began the concert from the balcony and audience members were touched by the women’s angelic sounds wafting down upon them.
On the main floor, the combined choirs smiled and seemed to waltz as they sang selections from Liebeslieder Walzer, Op. 52 by Brahms in the gold-gilded, ornate space. On Pentecost Sunday, the students shared music in worship at the Poestlingberg Kirche on a hill overlooking Linz. The congregation was very warm, receptive, and eager to meet and thank the choir members following the service. The final stop on the tour was Salzburg where the choirs performed at the Mozarteum Great Hall.
The acoustic and organ were overwhelmingly beautiful and responsive…a perfect way to end the tour. The tour was well-planned by KI concerts and Erich and Adrienn were excellent tour guides. The accommodations, food, and sight-seeing opportunities exposed the students to Austrian culture and history.
A few highlights were the Melk Abbey tour, the Danube River cruise, the Sound of Music tour in and around Salzburg that included a lovely drive amid scenic lakes, and Mozart house tours in Vienna and Salzburg. The Austria Tour was a mar velous opportunity on so many levels: spiritual, interpersonal, musical, educational. The students embraced every part of the tour, built stronger relationships with each other, and experienced the thrill of singing in reverberant cathedrals adorned with art and steeped in history.