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Hendricks Chapel Choir to perform in three South American countries

May 05, 2009

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

Kelly Homan Rodoski

The Hendricks Chapel Choir will embark on a two-week, three-country musical and culture tour of South America on Monday, May 11.

The 41-member choir, ranging from first-year students to graduate students, will perform a program of American choral music and South American pieces at venues in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. A website,, has been created to follow the progress of the tour; it will feature photos and reflections from choir members as they travel.

The choir will perform under the direction of John F. Warren, director of choral activities in Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) and the choir's conductor. The choir will be accompanied by Kola Owolabi, assistant professor in VPA and University organist, and on percussion by Joshua Dekaney, affiliate artist in VPA.

Also accompanying the choir on tour will be George Athanas; Bridget Budwey, business manager in Hendricks Chapel; Elisa Dekaney, assistant professor of music in VPA; Bridget Moriarty; Kelly Sprinkle, interim dean of Hendricks Chapel; and Jennifer Warren.

The choir embarks on an international tour every four years so that each member of the choir has the opportunity to tour internationally during their time at the University. The choir toured Poland and the Czech Republic in 2001 and China in 2005.

For its South American tour, the choir will perform a program of 20th-century compositions, American hymns, American folksongs, African American spirituals and gospel music during concerts in Santiago and Vina Del Mar, Chile; Rosario and Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Colonia and Montevideo, Uruguay. Each will conclude with the choir performing "America the Beautiful" and "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" in Spanish.

"This will be, of course, an amazing experience for the students," says Warren. "Just seeing the places we will see and experiencing different cultures is enriching. But the chance to sing in the beautiful venues where we will perform and to share our gifts of music with the Chilean, Argentine and Uruguayan people is life changing. Three of our concerts will be combined performances with local choirs, so that increases the chance to relate and communicate on a personal level."

During their time in South America, the choir members will also soak in some of the history and culture of the countries they visit. The choir will return to the United States on May 25.

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