This summer, Clarion University students will be stepping out of their comfort zone. In fact, for two weeks, they’ll be stepping out of the country entirely.
Chamber Singers is an audition-based vocal ensemble on campus consisting of 24 dedicated elite singers. Vocal repertoire ranges from classical, spiritual, jazz to contemporary.
Hosting at least two performances annually, both the Friday night before finals week each semester, and traveling on a two to three-day tour every year across Pennsylvania to perform for high schools, churches and community centers. But this summer, Chambers singers will be taking their talent to Wales, England’s geographic neighbor from July 2 through 15 for a friendly competition of choir singing.
Junior speech pathology major, Megan Blashford, has had a love for singing since a young age. Blashford was also ranked as a Pennsylvania state singer her senior year of high school.
“With the recent retrenchment of the music department two years ago, I along with the other juniors and seniors feared that we would no longer have opportunities to be part of an ensemble or even be able to sing at college again. Dr. Johnson had the courage and selflessness to not only salvage the group, but to grow it, shape it and provide opportunity after opportunity for us to keep these experiences alive,” said Blashford.
Since Dr. Stephen Johnson has revamped the organization, he has made the group learn more diverse and contemporary pieces, as well as give them more and more performance opportunities each semester.
“This Wales adventure will not only be just another opportunity and a chance to compete in an international competition. This trip will be a celebration: that in the face of circumstances and decisions beyond our control, we have not only survived – we are thriving,” says Blashford.
During their 13 days abroad, Chambers Singers will be sight-seeing in London, Stratford, Llangollen, Kilkenny, Killarney and Dublin, along with performing at various historical locations and venues, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, Holy Trinity Church and Christ Church Cathedral.
Finally, they will compete in the Llagollen Choir of the World Competition in Llangollen, Wales as their last stop.
“I never got the chance to study abroad, which was something I desperately wanted to do in my college career. Now I get to see a part of the world that I have only seen in movies and dreamed of seeing for myself, and I get to do one of my favorite things in the world [perform] amidst it all. I have never anticipated something with so much of my heart in my life,” said Chamber Singer Ellen Bossert.
If people are interested in making a donation to fund this trip, they can contact our director Stephen Johnson at email@example.com. All donations are appreciated.