The IVC Master Chorale along with friends and family
Irvine Valley College (IVC) singers got the experience of a lifetime this summer when they traveled to Europe to participate in the Salzburg Choral Festival. From June 26 to July 5, 36 members of the IVC Master Chorale along with 17 spouses and guests, visited the cities of Munich, Salzburg, Melk, Vienna and Prague, singing in cathedrals and performance halls where some of Europe’s greatest composers and musicians originated.
The ten-day tour through Music Celebrations International centered around the five-day international Salzburg Choral Festival, this year themed ‘Jubilate Mozart!’. The festival included multiple days of rehearsals alongside hundreds of singers from all over the world and culminated in a grand finale concert in the historic and stunning cathedral, Salzburger Dom.
Dr. Matthew Tresler, academic chair of music department and professor of choral and vocal music led the IVC travel group. “This trip offered our choir members the opportunity to sing the music of the masters, in the spaces where they were originally intended to be performed,” he said. “We were singing in the footsteps of composers like Mozart and Beethoven.”
The festival chorus, made up of hundreds of choirs performed classical works of Mozart under the direction of Dr. Eph Ehly, professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. János Czifra, Domkapellmeister of the Salzburg Dom, conducted Mozart's Mass in C Major, "Coronation," KV 317, accompanied by the Salzburger Domorchester.
Alongside the unmatched musical experience, the opportunity to visit important historical sites of Europe made an impact on students and the other tour members. Drake Martinez is an IVC music student and choir member who traveled with the group.
“I really wanted the opportunity to travel to Europe because of the musical history there,” he said. “This was my first time flying out of the country, much less to another continent. I loved the architecture and the natural beauty we saw, especially in Munich and Salzburg. This was a treasured experience for me.”
IVC Student and IVC Master Chorale Member, Drake Martinez
Drake also enjoyed the opportunity to develop closer relationships with the choir members, which he said will strengthen the group and improve their teamwork when they’re back on campus in Irvine.
“Our choir is made up of students and community members, and getting to tour together as a part of a multi-group choir really strengthened our bond,” Drake said. “Connecting with my choirmates through travel and our shared love of music made the experience so much better.”
In addition to rehearsals and recitals in churches, cathedrals and performance halls in three countries, the guided trip also included a tour of each city on the itinerary and visits to important historical sites and museums, including several castles and the Beethoven Museum.
“I would not have been able to go to Europe if not for this experience,” Drake said. “IVC made this trip possible for me, and I am grateful for this opportunity.”
The final recital of the tour was held in St. Nicholas Church in Prague.
“This was a wonderful opportunity for our choir members because travel deepens our understanding and broadens our perspective,” Dr. Tresler said. “This is true of both our musical experience as well as our human experience.”