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Pepperdine University Chamber Choir Embarks on European Summer Tour

Pepperdine University's Chamber Choir

The Pepperdine University Chamber Choir is embarking on a European tour, featuring performances at Les Musicales de Redon in France, at the Château d’Hauteville in Switzerland—Pepperdine’s newest international campus—and in Florence, Italy. From June 30 to July 17,  22 Seaver College students will perform at six concerts in three countries, collaborating with school age children, professional troupes, and renowned conductors along the way.

“Taking music on the road is a great experience for students,” says Board. “I really delight in seeing how much fun they have. The music we’re performing is half American and half European. So, we’re going to showcase and honor different European composers and styles while bringing distinctly American pieces as well.”

This musical endeavor will begin Thursday, July 6, in western France at the Redon music festival. The only American group performing at the concert, Pepperdine’s Chamber Choir will take the stage following the Grammy nominated ensemble, Voces8. In order to participate in the festival, Board and his students had to submit a number of recorded programs and performances for the festival's board of directors to review. Shortly afterward, the choir was selected as a featured group.

As invited participants, the Seaver College group will enjoy numerous benefits and cultural opportunities, such as accommodations and a pair of translators to help them traverse the city. During their visit, the choir will attend Voces8’s dress rehearsal, tour the sites at Mont Saint-Michel and Saint-Malo, and provide outreach efforts at two elementary schools. Specifically, the students will exchange cultures with the local children by learning French songs alongside them and performing in a community recital.

“When a group of young people sets foot in European cities and pours forth beautiful choir music expressively and vulnerably, all the walls come down,” says Board. “There is a perception that youth around the world are not connected with the past and deep, meaningful things . . . to see young people engage with something artistic and share it in this manner . . . a little magic occurs there.” 

Following their excursions in France, the Pepperdine Chamber Choir will travel to Vevey, Switzerland, to perform at the festivities surrounding the grand opening of the Château d’Hauteville on July 5, 2023. 

Beyond performing, Board hopes students are able to sharpen their musical abilities during their time abroad. Thus, the choir will conclude their travels in Italy, where they will present a final concert and attend a workshop with English conductor Simon Carrington, who formerly served as a professor of choral conducting at Yale University. 

During his tenure as the Pepperdine Chamber Choir instructor, Board has participated in four music tours throughout Europe—the most recent of which was in 2016. Learn more about Seaver College’s Fine Arts Division and the University’s Chamber Choir on the Choral Activities website.