The Westmont College Choir and Chamber Singers will visit Ventura and Los Angeles before flying to Northern Italy and Austria. The free performances will be Sunday, May 7, at 7 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church of Granada Hills, and Monday, May 8, at 7 p.m. in First United Methodist Church of Ventura.
The performances feature a diverse repertoire of classic, contemporary, sacred and secular music, including folk songs, spirituals and vocal jazz.
The college choir, under the direction of Michael Shasberger, will perform works by American composers such as Jake Runestad, Emma Lou Diemer, Nancy Wertsch and Elliot Levine with a sprinkling of works by Mendelssohn, Lotti, Mozart and other timeless masters. The Chamber Singers, directed by Grey Brothers, will present music of America, Italy and Austria to celebrate the locations on their tour.
The tour to Northern Italy and Austria May 9-22 features performances at Santa Maria dell’Incoronata Church in Naples, Chiesa di San Fermo Maggiore in Verona, San Moisè Church in Venice, Aviano Air Base, Saint Peter’s Church and Holy Trinity Lutheran in Bratislava and Müllner Church in Salzburg.
In the past, the choir has toured Lithuania and Russia, England and Scotland, Guatemala and Costa Rica, the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest.
“Touring is an important part of the development of Westmont musicians and ensembles,” Shasberger says. “The opportunity to focus on performance skills on a daily basis in widely varying conditions and for a variety of audiences is very motivating. The tour also serves an important ambassadorial function for the college, building a strong sense of community among the musicians.”