Allegro Community Children’s Choir 2011 Concert Tour of Italy
Allegro Community Children’s Choir (director, Christy Elsner) toured Italy in June, 2011, and, while they were gone, kept a tour blog following them from Naples to Rome and back home. The following was posted by Kimberly Stout, a mother and chaperone, after a concert in Torre del Greco, outside Naples.
I am not normally at a loss for words, but I am struggling to choose the right way to convey what we felt after performing our first concert.
I do not think there are enough words to capture the most beautiful experience that we shared at a small church in Torre del Greco by the name of Santuario del BuonConsiglio. Our concert was part of a four-day celebration of the life of their past priest who founded the orphanage at the church. He died 50 years ago and they have been celebrating his life each year. This is a relatively small community known as the ‘City of Flowers’. Although they have had many struggles, we saw the most positive side of its people tonight.
Allegro performs in the Santuario del Buon Consiglio in Torre del Greco, Italy
It is a special thing to be able to sing in a church where the acoustics match the caliber of Allegro, and the girls experienced this when we rehearsed earlier today. However, it is taken to another level when you add an entire church overflowing with people who had come with excited anticipation to see our girls sing. We could all feel the energy from the beginning with their warm welcome and singing from their own local choir, but the way the night proceeded we could have never imagined. There were moments where my breath was taken away and I could not keep dry eyes, but it was not only me, it was also the perfect strangers who had come not knowing what they would hear.
When the girls had finished singing they were called back to do an encore. After the priest lavished them with the most kind words of how “they were like angels and their music gave us all wings to reach closer to God”, he gave them a special blessing ”to not only carry on the beautiful gift of singing in their lives, but to carry that gift with them in their heart always in everything they do”.
They also presented us with several special gifts to take home to remember them by. Although appreciated, it was their genuine kindness that they expressed in everything they had done to receive us that we will never forget. They made us feel like family in Italy!
They had prepared a beautiful reception for all of us after the concert to socialize and shared an amazing picture that they had made completely from fresh flowers. It has been a tradition each year, but this year it was extra special as they needed nearly 20,000 flowers! The picture was of the priest they were celebrating along with Mary and the baby Jesus and it covered an entire wall. Upon returning to the reception room, we were presented with a cake in our honor and each singer was presented a gift.
When we departed, their choir along with the priest sang to us as we left the church. We felt the love with a capital ‘L’ tonight in so many ways. Lori Egan (Allegro Administrator) said “These are the kind of moments that can change the world.”
Tonight the girls realized firsthand why it is worth it to invest the time and energy in something larger than yourself. It was truly a magical day in every way!
To learn more about Italy as a possible concert tour destination for your ensemble, please visit our Italy destination page, or contact us.