WALLA WALLA, Wash.-- The Whitman College Chamber Singers embark on a whirlwind concert tour of Poland and the Czech Republic Saturday, May 27, and return Monday, June 5. 

 

 The chorus, led by director Robert Bode, professor of music at Whitman, will arrive in Warsaw Sunday, and will tour the capital city, the focal point of the country’s economic, political and cultural life, before participating in Monday evening Mass at the famous 17th century Church of the Holy Cross. The singers will continue their concert tour and their tour of historic spots until Monday, June 5, when they return to Walla Walla.

 

  “There are a number of experiences I want the Chamber Singers to have,” said Bode. “One experience is to sing in the great churches of Europe and experience the culture that is so evident in those places.” To that end Bode plans a major tour every four years. On this year’s tour the chorus will see Warsaw’s Old Town, Castle Square, the Royal Palace and the Ghetto Memorial in Warsaw; in Krakow they will experience one of the country’s most beautifully preserved cities; in Oswiecim they will visit the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. In Prague, Czech Republic, they will visit Wenceslas Square, site of the 1989 “Velvet Revolution,” and the Strahov Monastery, founded in 1140.

 

 Whitman alumnus Nick Parker described his tour of Italy four years ago as “one of the highlights of my entire college career.” In an e-mail to Bode and professor of music Lee Thompson, who sings bass with the Chamber Singers on tour, Parker said “You know, it’s a little strange, but when I walk into a religious building of any kind (whether it be a church, mosque, shrine, temple, monastery, etc.) I just want to start singing. And that is thanks to you. All those kids that are going abroad on a singing tour for the first time will have their eyes and hearts (and voices and feet, too) opened to something great.”

 

 The tour will take the Whitman singers to concerts at the St. Anna Church in Krakow and St. Nicholas Church in Prague, and they will participate in Mass at the Church of St. Salvator, Prague, before returning home on Monday. The program they will sing “reflects what we’ve done all year,” said Bode, and includes songs “This Train” and “God’s Grandeur” by renowned American composer Gwyneth Walker. Whitman’s Chorale and Chamber Singers recorded a CD of Walker’s music at her request earlier this spring. “Ave Maria” by David Conte and “Exultate, justi” by Lodovico Viadana are also on the program.

 

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CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156

Email: parishlj@whitman.edu