By Christi Mays
Each summer, UMHB music professors in the College of Visual and Performing Arts travel the globe to give their students a taste of music from other parts of the world. These trips offer students a deeper look into international musical cultures and provide a unique glimpse into how God is working in other parts of the world.
Close your eyes and imagine walking along the coastline of Wales through an enormous archway into the expansive stone interior of a castle built in the 1200s. Now, imagine a chorus of voices joining in a harmonious hymn, echoing deep into spaces where soldiers once bustled about keeping a king and his family safe.
All 12 members of UMHB’s select ensemble, One Voice, traveled to Wales this summer to experience singing inside centuries-old castles and cathedrals as part of their summer singing trip.
“It’s really kind of cool to go to a place where they had these churches or structures that were around when the music was written, so you can get an idea of what it was really supposed to sound like or what it actually felt like back then,” said Dr. Matt Crosby, assistant professor of music. “It’s exciting to sing in an old space with great acoustics.”
In addition to belting out a few impromptu hymns inside the old castles, One Voice also sang at Chester Cathedral, performed in churches and chapels in the area, gave a concert at a theater on the island of Anglesey and collaborated with a Welsh choir at a food festival where they performed a 45-minute set. The ensemble ventured out on some pilgrimages to visit 14th-century churches where Christians once gathered for outdoor ceremonies as early as the fifth and sixth centuries.