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Ensemble students eagerly anticipate Spring Break trip to Rome

March 9th, the Westminster Ensemble will pay homage to thousands of years of singing history in the cradle of western civilization. Traveling 6,000 miles to yet another exotic locale this spring break, the Ensemble continues its long held tradition of travelling to Europe and singing.

“We’re going to rehearse in the Pantheon,” says senior Kunal Kamath. “We just went ahead and asked, because it was the only place available with a piano, and, surprisingly, the people in charge of the Pantheon agreed.” Kamath is speaking, of course, about this year’s Men’s and Women’s Ensemble trip to Italy. Though the itinerary for this years trip is spectacular, the Ensemble trips from past years have been memorable as well. Recently, for example the Ensemble has spent its weeks all across Europe, in Prague, Budapest, and Paris, just to name a few cities.

“Basically we just get to celebrate our gift of singing and perform places abroad,” says Kamath when asked what the Ensemble does on their trips.

“We’re singing in Santa Croce in Florence, and then one of the Vatican schools, and St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome,” says junior Emily Weeks.

Such trips provide incredible opportunities for the singers. St. Peter’s in particular is one of the most respected and well-known churches in the world.  However, the opportunity to sing in some of the western world’s most well-known and respected venues isn’t the only thing the choirs enjoy about the trip.

“We’re all really excited about it,” says junior Barrett Seagroves, “and not just because of the singing. I really like the great group of people we have going this year.”

The choir will also have time for other activities besides singing.

“We will be seeing the cities with tour guides, shopping, and eating lots of gelato!” says Weeks.

While choir members hope the trip will be fun, the recent resignation of Pope Benedict XII has complicated the organization of the trip some.

“Our schedule is changing a little bit because of the Pope and his retirement,” says Kamath.

The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the first such resignation in over 600 years, was totally unanticipated by the event’s planners. Benedict’s resignation marks the first papal resignation since Pope Gregory XII, who tossed aside the mitre in 1585 in order to end the Great Schism.

“Now Rome will be in pure chaos when we arrive!” says Weeks. “But I think it will add to the experience for all of us to see history being made.”

While most of the students are definitely excited about the “history in the making”, undoubtedly others are more than a little apprehensive. Betty Fuller, who was unavailable for comment, has quite a task ahead of her as the trip’s organizer.

Overall though, the choir remains excited about the trip and the event’s both planned and unplanned for them in Rome, hoping to continue a long tradition of traveling to celebrate singing and music.

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