Dr. William Skoog, Director of Choral Activities at Rhodes College, directed the 2010 Rome International Choral Festival, along with the Rhodes MasterSingers.
Here is what Dr. Skoog said about his experience:
Exhilarating…Exciting…Exceptional…Extensive…Extract your pick. Ex is a Latin prefix for “Out of.” This was truly an “out of body” experience.
Let me be explicit: It is truly hard to top the following: wonderful people; great music; phenomenal, eye-and ear-popping world-class venues; great concerts, excellent orchestra and choir; incredible sights.
Follow me on this virtual tour: singing a concert in Rome with the Etuscan Orchestra from Florence, at Santa Maria Sopra Minerva; singing Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, where the Priest is the ex-director of Music at the Vatican who served under two Popes…SINGING in the VATICAN, touring Rome; standing in the Coliseum imagining the gladiators who are extinct; singing in Florence, home of Michelangelo, at Chiesa di Santo Ricci to a gathering-until-full crowd who were sobbing throughout the concert and on their feet at the end; observing the Pieta; studying David AND the Sistine Chapel; touring Siena; taking a boat cruise around Cinque Terre; exclaiming gasps of awe for all of the above; sipping coffee (excuse me, cappuccino) until five and vino after that; touring Genoa, exiting Italy entering France; exploring Monaco and Nice; viewing the Marc Chagall exhibit; closing the final concert to the sound of rhythmic clapping (a European tradition) until you succumb to their demand for an encore…then another…exuberant!
You get the idea…
We started out as individuals from Colorado, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Washington; but ended up as one community having an incredible experience. The number one word heard for 10 days was “Wow!” The phrase I never heard was, “I wish I had not done this.”
Thank you John, Dan, Shari, et. al. experts in the field at MCI – you did it again. I do believe I am still recovering. Exhausted. There are good tireds and bad tireds. Without question, this is a good one. Extremely grateful. Our fourth trip with them, and they truly keep getting better and better.
Dr. William Skoog, Director of Choral Activities