Abbey Goers UW-Stout
Soon one of the oldest churches in San Juan, Puerto Rico will ring with the voices of 17 singers from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
On their next tour, the Chamber Choir will perform with Coralia, the top choir on the Rio Piedras campus of the University of Puerto Rico. The concert will take place on Sunday, March 13 at the Parroquia Nuestra Señora del Pilar, parish of Rio Piedra in San Juan.
The Chamber Choir will share a selection from their fall 2021 concert, “To Gather, Together”.
“The music celebrates the joy of coming together and the power of human connection,” said director of choral activities Jerry Hui, associate professor of performing arts and director of the arts administration and entrepreneurship program.
Hui orchestrated the tour with Carmen Acevedo, director of the University of Puerto Rico choir. Their choirs will sing a song together: “Peace I Leave with You” by American composer Amy Beach. They will practice together when the UW-Stout students arrive in San Juan.
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The Chamber Choir will also perform at the Hilton Dorado Del Mar Beach Resort, on a date to be determined.
Their tour will take place Thursday, March 10 through Wednesday, March 16, with opportunities to explore Puerto Rico, including a group tour of El Yunque National Forest, a kayaking trip to a bioluminescent bay, and a walking tour of Historic Old San Juan.
UW-Stout’s spring break is the same week.
Donors help make the tour possible
Donors can support the choir’s tour and opportunities for prospective students by donating to the University Choir’s General Fund.
The fund, overseen by the Stout University Foundation, supports student learning opportunities, travel, new music commissions, and other artistic endeavors by UW-Stout choirs, including the Chamber Choir, Devil Tones Acappella, and Symphonic Singers.
The students are grateful to Hui for her dedication and planning, and to the donors who help make their tour possible.
Charlie Peavey, an entertainment design student from Minneapolis, was involved with the choir during the five years he was at UW-Stout, serving as a member of all three choirs. The trip is a dream come true for him, as he graduates this spring with minors in performing arts and Spanish.
“This trip to Puerto Rico will be the perfect adventure to end those two trips,” he said. “The choir was incredibly important to me – the community and lasting friendships I found, the confidence I built through performance, and the catharsis of singing through all the stresses of school certainly had an impact. huge on my success as a student, as well as personally.
Abbie Aasen, a first-year psychology student at Menomonie, has never been outside of the continental United States. It makes me so excited for all the other opportunities I will get as I progress through the music program at Stout,” she said. “It’s even more fun to be able to travel with such an incredible group. Our choir is one of the tightest groups I’ve ever been in, and I like to think of us as a little family.
Krista Matthews-Saugstad, a graduate student in counseling at the School of MS, agrees. “It really is so special to travel with a band that you’ve worked closely with to create something beautiful and then present it in a completely new setting.”
The choir has always been an important part of Matthews-Saugstad’s life. She thinks the tour provides the choir with a bonding experience. “It also allows students to grow individually, just by being part of the process,” she said.
The Chamber Choir and the Blue Devil Jazz Project visited five cities in mainland China in 2016, on an international tour partially funded by a grant from the US State Department. The Chamber Choir and Symphonic Singers’ last national tour was in 2019, when they visited Madison, Janesville, New Lisbon and Springfield, Ill.
“It’s unreal to travel again,” Hui said. “Students are thrilled to have the opportunity to visit new places, share music with new audiences, and create life-changing memories with each other.”