A few of John Thompson’s images highlighting the churches, street scenes, and views, including a lovely shot of Ashley, and cool one of Robert, parkour master, at one with the urban landscape.

Thank you John, Danielle, and Steven for sharing your beautiful images — we hope to add even more!

John Thompson, a community choir member, shares his thoughts on the trip

I was touched by the warm welcome we received at La Cova de Sant
Ignasi in Manresa.  The local choirs had obviously worked very hard to
prepare for what was clearly a special night for them.  It was such a
pleasure to be part of that, and to have our choir join with theirs to
sing “Joy to the World” in our native languages.

Barcelona is too beautiful to resist.  The Gothic Quarter and the
plaza in front of Barcelona Cathedral is always full of life: people,
street musicians, even a wedding.  In our concert dress, our choir
looked like a wedding party to one man, as we waited to enter the
Basilica de la Sagrada Familia.  I told him we were there to sing, and
later, during our performance, I saw him standing in the audience.  I
was always surprised and impressed by the size, enthusiasm, and
courtesy of our audiences, most of all at our final gala concert.

But my favorite memories concern my fellow choir members, several of
whom I got to know a lot better on this trip.  I was delighted by the
way folks cared for each other.  Even when I was under the bus
unloading luggage, there were always willing hands ready to help. Best
of all was everyone’s dedication to the music.  As I stood in the
changing room at Sagrada Familia, rehearsing a chant we would soon
perform, several men in the choir quickly surrounded me and joined in. That
fiery drive to do our best - that’s what I’ll remember.

- John Thompson

Some of Danielle’s photos from Barcelona — the beach, Gaudi architecture, friends, and the abbey at Montserrat.

Singers weigh in on a fantastic trip!

I am very thankful that we were able to take this trip abroad to Spain. It was an incredible experience and I hope to travel back to Barcelona someday! It was beautiful there, and the musical and cultural experiences were unforgettable.

—Danielle Szymaszek

Dean Seven Breese’s photos — the ceiling in Sagrada Familia, and views from a hilltop in Manresa, and Montserrat. 

From Steven Breese, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences

Traveling and touring with Dr. Gemme and the SCSU Choir was a great privilege and a unique pleasure! Each day offered a new adventure as the students adapted/learned to thrive in Barcelona’s vibrant culture.  The students were outstanding University ambassadors and always represented SCSU in the most positive light—through their outstanding performances and their personal interactions. It was a joyful time for us all, and I was reminded of the important lessons that can only be gleaned from study-abroad. Each of us was touched by the experience—those of us who are seasoned travelers as well as those students who had never ventured beyond our shores. This tour demonstrated the power that can be found in collaborative artistry, shared experience and cultural exchange.

The next few posts will highlight the images and experiences of other singers and travelers. Keep checking back for more memories from Barcelona!

Time to go — time to nap on the plane —

Another fabulous trip comes to a close for the Southern Choir — an unforgettable experience that gave the singers a chance to fine-tune their musicianship and artistry, make new friends, and explore a beautiful and historic city.