The Italian Almanac

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columns of the main altar in St. Peter Chatedral

Italian News - November 27

Next month, the musical sounds from one local school choir will resound through the sacred halls of the largest church in the world. The St. Henry District High School Chamber Choir will leave Erlanger the day after Christmas for Rome. The choir will sing at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, and at churches in Assisi and Udine in Italy. Fourteen girls from all over Northern Kentucky will make the nine-day trip that was organized through a company that specializes in performance tours.

"They usually take church choirs," said choir director Eileen Bird. "But I sent them a CD and they OK'd us to go." The choir will perform at a 5:30 p.m. evening Mass at St. Peter's Basilica at the main altar. "These girls are successful at singing," Bird added. "And they are good girls - very involved in ministries. They sing with a purpose." It will be the first trip to Europe for the girls.

Sooyeon Jeung, 16, a foreign exchange student who lives with Bird, is eager to take her music abroad. "I'm really excited to get to Rome. I'm looking forward to seeing the Colosseum," said Jeung, a senior who also plays oboe and violin.

Lauren Schwarte, 17, of Edgewood, said she is deeply involved in music. The senior has been in the chamber choir since her sophomore year and in the regular choir since freshman year. She is most looking forward to taking a gondola ride upon arrival in Venice.

Schwarte said they prepare for the trip by practicing songs in Latin and learning one in Italian. "We're ecstatic. We talk about going every day."