CHAPEL CHOIR MISSION TOUR: Bringing our music to others!

Every three years, members of the Assumption College Chapel Choir have the chance to bring their love of music to others.

Recently, the students brought their music to the Bronx and Dobbs Ferry, NY, and Lansdale and Philadelphia, PA. Performing in concert for audiences and sharing their music at various liturgical celebrations, the Choir received many standing ovations for their singing.

June, 2005—For many years, Assumption College's office of Campus Ministry has been sending students and employees to mission sites across North America. However, none of these spiritual journeys have involved music—until now.

Members of Assumption's Chapel Choir just returned from the first-ever Choir Mission trip, which took place from May 16-22, 2005. During the week, a group of about 40 students, faculty, and staff traveled to sites in New York and Pennsylvania, singing at concerts and masses at each stop. The intent of this mission was to bring the gift of choral music to those who might not have the opportunity to experience it otherwise.

The group, directed and conducted by Jane Shivick and accompanied by Frank Corbin, visited the cities of New York and Philadelphia while giving concerts at schools and churches in Dobbs Ferry, NY; Bronx, NY; and Lansdale, PA. Thirty students participated in this concert tour, and all came home with wonderful memories.

"The trip was absolutely amazing, and the response was much better than I had originally anticipated. The places that we performed at were so receptive and genuinely appreciative that it really left [us] with a warm feeling inside,” said Matt Paley ’05. “It was great to know that these people truly appreciated what we were doing and were thankful that we came.”

Danielle St. Martin ’07 agreed with her choirmate. “There was one performance in particular in Lansdale, PA where everything came together,” she said. “We all really felt the music and the mission and knew what we were there to do, and it was like magic to see all the work and the rehearsals rewarded.”

In addition to their packed performance schedule, the choir members enjoyed some free time on their trip. The students made the most of their time in New York, sightseeing and shopping. Some students scored tickets to a Mets game or Broadway shows, and others woke up early to hold up “Assumption Chapel Choir” signs outside of the NBC studios, where the “Today Show” is taped.

The Mission trip helped the Choir members bond more tightly as a group, the students said. “[We] got to really know and see each other in different lights, and through these experiences, we created new bonds to strengthen our friendships,” said St. Martin.

The trip was also particularly poignant for the Chapel Choir singers who recently graduated from the College.

“I feel that each of us took something away from the kind and generous people we met along the way,” said Alison Burns ’05. “The Chapel Choir Mission Trip was an amazing way to end my four years as an AC Chapel Choir member and my journey as a student.” Bob Mercier '68, a lecturer in Social and Rehabilitation Services who accompanied the students on the trip, spoke highly of their performances. "[The Choir] brought their spirit and joy to appreciative audiences," he said. "The Assumption College community of faculty, staff, alumni and friends should be proud to know that these students' voices represented AC in an outstanding manner."

-Story written by Leeanne Griffin


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