A group of singers comprising members of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Chorale and Seneca Camerata, as well as HWS alums will embark on a trip to a choral symposium in Havana, Cuba, May 22-28. Organized through Harmony International, the trip is hosted by Brett Scott, associate professor of ensembles and conducting at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Professor of Music Robert Cowles, director of the HWS Chorale and the Seneca Camerata, feels fortunate to be leading the HWS contingent.
“For an American to have the opportunity to visit Cuba just once would be special but this will be my second time, having attended a U.S./Cuba choral summit in Havana in 2012,” says Cowles. “During that visit I learned not only that Cuba is a beautiful, friendly, and fascinating place, but also that it is home to much wonderful choral singing. To have the opportunity to actually perform and be a part of such a thriving choral environment is an exciting prospect.”
While in Cuba, the singers will perform with Coro National de Cuba and work with its director, Digna Guerra, who has led the group since 1975. In addition, the group will explore Havana and visit many famous sights including the former home of Ernest Hemingway, Old Havana, and the various music conservatories in Cuba.
The Colleges Chorale is a mixed ensemble comprising the finest student vocal talent on the campus. The 35-voice group performs a wide range of a cappella choral literature, including repertoire from the Middle Ages to the present day. Each spring the group takes a four-day tour and will head this spring to Washington, D.C.
Seneca Camerata is a chamber project choir in the Finger Lakes. The group was formed by Cowles in 2004 and has performed abroad and with the Colleges Chorale.
In preparation for the trip to Cuba, the group will perform a concert which will be held on May 20, 2017, 8 p.m., Froelich Hall, Gearan Center for the Performing Arts.