Choir to say “arrivederci” to LZ

Choir will perform all over Italy during spring break

More than 100 choir students will be traveling to different parts of Italy during this upcoming spring break.

Over eight days the choir will be visiting many places in Italy including: Rome, Assisi, Venice, Florence, Montecatini, Mestre, Perugia, and Padua. They will be performing in various destinations all over Italy, while touring and sightseeing.

The music for the concerts was planned out to match the location, and the music being sung will consist of both Italian lyrics and songs by Italians composers. Nick Juknelis, choir director, and the other directors wanted “to be respectful of the places we’re singing as well as the country we’re going to,” Juknelis said.

Ashleigh Miller, senior, went on the Hawaii trip her freshman year, and has been excited for the 2019 trip ever since she found out it would be Italy.

“I’ve always wanted to sing in a big cathedral like [the Vatican]. I’m just super excited to [be able to do] that because I’m Catholic so it’s a cool experience to [visit] a place where Catholicism is so prominent, and be able to sing there,” Miller said.

“We’re also going to visit all sorts of famous sites when we’re there. We’re going to go to the Vatican Museum and [to] see the Sistine Chapel,” Juknelis said. The choir will be singing in the Vatican, as well as St. Mark’s and St. Peter’s Basilica. “We’re going to go to the Colosseum, [and] St. Francis’ remains. We’re going to be in Venice on the canals.”

Julia Touvannas, freshman, believes the trip will be a good learning opportunity and overall, quite memorable.

“I think it’s a good opportunity to learn more about the world, and for people like me who haven’t traveled outside of the country it’s just a new experience,” Touvannas said.

When they are not performing students will be able to grab lunch at a cafe, get some gelato or cannolis, walk around the piazzas and shop, and see the historic sights. Nolan Bertrand, junior, says he cannot wait for the Italian food.

“I am really excited to eats some authentic Italian pasta,” Bertrand said.

However, the food and historic sites are not the only reasons why students were eager to go on the trip.

“I love choir so much and the fact that every three years [we] get to go on a trip to sing in a different country or just a different part of the United States is just fascinating to me. So the fact that we get to go to Italy and sing for the people there and places like the Vatican just truly amazes me, and I can’t wait to go,” Bertrand said. “It brings something new to the choir.”

This is not the first time the choir has gone to Italy, but according to Juknelis, the amount of people going has nearly doubled in size since their last trip in 2013.

Travel to and from Italy is going to be a little trickier according to Juknelis, “[there are] 50 students going to London then Rome, 50 of us are going to Madrid then Rome, and 50 of us are going to Zurich, Switzerland then Rome. It’s like a real-life Amazing Race,” Juknelis said.

“We probably started [planning for the trip] two years ago because we had to find a travel agent, and have the school board approve our trip,” Juknelis said. “The travel company arranges everything for us: all the concerts, plane tickets [and other means of transportation], tours, and stuff like that.”

The students had a chance to fundraise by selling cookie dough, mattresses, candy, and candles to help pay for their own trip.

“I’m very excited for this upcoming choir trip. It’s not everyday that a choir gets to go to another country, nonetheless, Italy,” Landon Finn, senior, said. “It’s a very unique opportunity and I look forward to [making] the most out of the trip.”