North Central College - Naperville, IL

Concert Choir hits high notes on Italian tour

Performing in the some of the most hallowed cities and cathedrals in Europe created special memories for North Central’s Concert Choir during spring break. The choir of 37 singers, under the direction of Jeordano “Pete” Martinez, professor of music, spent seven days in Italy and sang during Catholic masses at St. Peter’s Basilica at Vatican City in Rome, St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice and at concerts in Florence, Venice and Siena.

“The whole experience was geared to music students,” says Martinez. He and the performers were pleased by the enthusiasm of the audiences. Wrote performer Grant Swanson in his blog about the trip: “People kept pouring in throughout the concert (in Rome) and the audience was very receptive. Afterward, a French couple admitted to coming to hear us again after we sang during mass at St. Peter’s. They wanted to hear more!”

North Central President Harold Wilde and his wife Benna joined the choir for the tour. David Schmitz, associate professor of mathematics, was the accompanist and also found the energy to run the Rome Marathon. As the North Central contingent left for Florence, Schmitz headed for the marathon’s starting line at the Colosseum. “When I realized that the marathon was on a travel day for the choir, I decided I could run it and take a train to catch up,” he says.