Mater Dei High School Chorus Tour Highlights

We’re still reeling from the fantastic Mater Dei High School Chorus Italy Performance Tour and Pilgrimage that came to an end on April 3. In fact, some of us at Incantato Tours and Concert are still misting up thinking about all the magical people and experiences we shared with the choir, handbell chorus, visual arts students, parents and siblings, tour managers, bus drivers, appreciative audiences, locals, priests... and so many more.

We though we’d keep the feeling going a little longer with a nod to some of the highlights of the tour:
  • Awed by Amalfi: The students loved their visit to the scenic Amalfi Coast. The students were inspired by the history of Pompeii, the urban design of Capri ("It's architecture you don't see in suburban America," said visual art student Kim P.), and the scenic landscape of Maiori. They also loved their concert in the beautiful Duomo di Amalfi. "Singing in that church was cool," said chamber singer Keith M. Click here for photos from Amalfi.
  • Performing for the Pope: Perhaps one of the most powerful experiences for the Mater Dei tour group was singing at the Papal Audience in Saint Peter's Square on Wednesday, March 30. The choir sat in the front of the crowd, so close "I could've touched him," said Vicki Bueschel, whose sophomore daughter sings in the Advanced Women's Ensemble. "It was amazing when he stood up and clapped," Kayla F. agreed. Even students who had sung at the Papal Audience before found this experience special. Even for the singers who have been to Italy or on choir tours before, this trip was special. "I've sung for the Pope with other choirs," said Taylor D.," said chamber singer Taylor D. "But this time it was just us." Click here for video from the Papal Audience.
  • Surprise Sing-a-long: Some moments you can't plan. Luckily, Incantato Tours leaves just enough room for chance that things like a special impromptu concert on the steps next to the Teatro Communale in Todi could happen. Charmed by the Mater Dei students, a local shop owner loaned guitars to several of the students, who sang contemporary songs like Jeff Buckley's version of "Hallelujah" and Arcade Fire's "Wake Up," much to the delight of charmed local passersby. Click here for video.
  • A High Note with Haydn: A favorite concert of the tour for Gabie P. was the April 1 concert at the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo al Celio. The choir performed Haydn't Paukenmesse with a full professional orchestra in this first century church. "Last night's performance was amazing," said Gabie. "They were songs we've been learning all year. It's emotional to sing them here for the last time." Click here for photos from the Paukenmesse concert.
  • Salutations at the Sistine Chapel: Nothing beats the Sistine Chapel. The choir ended their tour singing a special High Mass, taking a private tour of the Vatican Museum, and performing a haunting concert inside the Sistine Chapel that left nary a dry eye in the house. Click here for reflections on the Sistine Chapel recital.