|Black Hills State University
choir and band students will enjoy touring and performing
in Italian cathedrals this spring.
There will be 22
students participating in this year's concert tour in
May. Students will be lodging in a variety of interesting
places including a converted monastery which is run by
nuns. The monastery is now set up as a hotel.
The group will hold concerts in Spoleto, Sienna,
Florence, and Venice, where they will perform
African-American spirituals, folk songs, patriotic songs,
and of course, Italian madrigals. Their itinerary also
includes tours of the Roman Forum, Coliseum, and the
Pantheon; museums such as St. Peter's Basilica, and the
Sistine Chapel, as well as other sites including the
Leaning Tower of Pisa.
According to Stephen Parker, BHSU choral director,
there will be 18 other people including faculty members,
traveling with the students. Parker regrets that all the
students in his choral group cannot participate, but
understands their reasons, stating students just
have a hard time coming up with their money. The
university is able to contribute some of the money, but
most of it must be earned through raffles, rummage sales,
and selling candy.
Parker said fund-raising efforts have not been as
successful as in previous years. He has noticed there is
a lot of competition with other groups who are on
fund-raising missions, and it is very difficult to
compete against other worthy fund-raising efforts in the
community. However, students do benefit a great deal by
participating in these tours, and many simply cannot
afford to pay their own expenses for this kind of
Back to Campus
|Parker noted the trips are
being cut shorter due to costs and intense competition
for dollars. The tour, which in the past has been 15
days, is now only 12.
For these same reasons, he is
unsure as to whether students will continue to have the
opportunity to tour and perform in Europe.
The BH choral director finds this unfortunate in more
ways than one, as the university uses these tours as a
recruiting tool for Black Hills State. Parker also
believes that these tours are a phenomenal
education it helps the students to actually
experience the places where the great composers lived and
BHSU students participating in the tour through Italy
are: Micki O'Dell, Spearfish; Jodi Boese, Geddes; Sonja
Olson, Colton; Stacey Smith, Rapid City; Rebecca Garvin,
Spearfish; Lynette Daum, Newcastle, Wyo.; Carol Armbrust,
Sturgis; Cindy Tschetter, Spearfish; Fred Strasser,
Spearfish; Tony Speiser, Watertown; Toby Sprague,
Spearfish; Guy Bruha, Baker, Mont.; Lang Termes,
Spearfish; Adam Lawson, Rapid City; Jim Gerdes,
Spearfish; and April Lutheran of Rapid City. The rest of
the group of 40 will include faculty, faculty spouses,
and other people from the area.
Students are currently preparing to hold a spaghetti
dinner to raise some money, and will be raffling a Black
Hills gold watch in April. Private donations are welcome,
and anyone wishing more information may contact Parker at
his e-mail address <email@example.com>.