Circle City Chorale’s 2016 European Tour is finally coming over the horizon and approaching at jet speed! With a couple months left to embark, choral members are assembling the program, perfecting the repertoire, scrambling to get their travel gear, and eagerly packing their bags. What awaits them across the Atlantic are three performances, in three cities, a few days of sightseeing and leisure, and a life’s worth of shared memories.
In the musically rich cities of Prague, Vienna, and Budapest, Circle City Chorale will carry proudly the mantle of musical performance, tracing the footsteps of its forbearers, and sharing the sound of our diverse culture with a new audience.
Angela Rosser, Circle City Chorale Director, all smiles, giddy about the news she had just received, that she and her husband would be extending their trip into Paris, sat across from me at a table in a room normally reserved for Circle City Chorale board meetings.
Graciously, she humored me for this unique look behind the scenes of the chorale’s upcoming tour. This being a Monday evening with a three hour rehearsal ahead of us, the muffled chattering and vocalizing of chorale members in a steady crescendo just behind the wall, I’d have to make it quick.
Erick Lange: First, I have to ask: Are you excited about the trip?
Angela Rosser: I am elated! Can’t wait. Haven’t packed my bags yet but…
AR: I’ve never been to Europe; and I have the opportunity to direct, do something that I love and take a group that I founded and be able to explore several foreign countries… just thrills me! You know, to go where Mozart has been… I’ve studied music my whole life. So to be somewhere where such incredible composers originated, created… having the opportunity for us to sing there is incredible! EL: Oh, I am excited too! I need to get to the Mozarthaus. I know that’s something we both want to do.
EL:What can you share about the C3 repertoire, if anything , for the European tour?
AR: I’d say the repertoire is pretty varied. We are a bit limited as to one of the venues. It’s a beautiful Roman Catholic Church with some restrictions on what we can perform. We’re tied to basically an hour. I’d like to present the “best of the best” as far as what we’re able and what we’re good at doing, but up to this point, that hasn’t been inclusive of say, standards, musical theater and some of the other genres that I’d say we do very well. We are performing in a couple of venues which will include a more varied repertoire. We are doing some classics. They hear all kinds of music from choirs in Europe and they’re looking for something to represent America. So I think we’re the perfect group to do that.
EL: See, that makes sense. I didn’t know if we were going to sing more classical European pieces, but that makes sense that they’d want to hear something more varied, something that represents us. What are you hoping the choir gets out of this experience?
AR: I know in the past, because I have toured with groups, friendships have been strengthened and the bonds that have been formed have lasted me a lifetime. I already see how close this group is, so I think traveling and experiencing this tour together will be even more life changing and rewarding because of the groups dynamic. I think for us to perform, experience new cultures, see some sights and really experience the tour as a whole is what’s most important. I’m looking forward to us being together to learn, to sing, to create, and enjoy each other’s company.
EL: What are you planning on doing during your free days?
AR: During my free days! Taking in as much as possible. My husband’s going. He’s a history buff and he’s not been to Europe either. Anything we can squeeze in; I will say if it’s tied to music, it’s probably on the top of my list! But anything of significance we can squeeze, all the better! And now it looks like my plans will be extended a bit so we can take in more. So I’m thrilled! It’s a first for me!
EL:For me too! Well thank you!
The chorale’s first performance of the tour will take place in Prague. In Vienna, C3 will perform a joint concert with a local group. The joint concert will allow C3 members to share the love of music with fellow performers from across the globe, a unique experience for several members! The third and final performance of the tour will be in Budapest. All proceeds from these concerts will benefit the local communities in the cities in which we will perform.
Chorale members will get to enjoy plenty of free time to explore these cities as well as guided group tours and dinners.
The Circle City Chorale: a 501(c)3 non-profit organization was created in 2010 by Angela Rosser as a means to bring choral music to Corona, California. Beginning with a community of 25 singers, each year the chorale has grown both in size and talent. Now in our sixth year, our choir is 100+ strong and contains three groups: our main choir, the Circle City Chorale; smaller ensemble choir known as the Circle City Singers; and our newest addition, the Circle City Children’s Choir. As our choir grows, we are continually looking for ways to further our musical education. While we sing and soar into new experiences, we hope to inspire others, and in turn, be enriched by a wealth of European culture as we return to Corona with a new global perspective.