Music Ensembles Tour Chicago
December 4, 2019
Over fall break, the Xavier Wind Ensemble and Choral Ensemble traveled to Chicago for their first tour in seven years.
“Touring is a very important vehicle to build community within the music program,” Benjamin Chamberlain, assistant professor of music, explained.
Chamberlain and Megan Boyd, visiting professor of music, spent months preparing the itinerary and securing funding for more than 100 students in both ensembles to tour. They sought to make it an excellent learning experience, filled with fun (and tickets to Hamilton)! Boyd and Chamberlain scheduled performances at local high schools and ensured their students experienced cultural landmarks of the area such as the Art Institute of Chicago, House of Blues, and Navy Pier.
“The comradery and bonding of spending 4 days together making music, sharing meals, etc... It has paid dividends in the depth of music-making we are now able to accomplish and strive for,” explained Boyd.
In addition to performing in a public concert, both ensembles spent a large portion of their tour participating in music clinics at local universities such as Northwestern University. Here, they were able to network with professionals in their fields, all while learning more about their art.
However, students did more than just take in the knowledge and opportunities Chicago had to offer – they also gave back. “The service component is really important,” Chamberlain explained. Both ensembles ran clinics at local high schools. They performed for and with interested high school students, and network with those who shared a love for music.
“For me, the best part of the trip was watching students engage with the high schoolers in Chicago. I feel really proud of the people they are, the artists they are, and how well they represent Xavier,” said Chamberlain.
Music Tours is especially grateful for the help of Julie Nelson, Chicago Recruiter, who was instrumental in helping connect students in Chicago and invite alumni to their public performances. With her help, the Music Tour was able to have a meet and greet with Xavier families, prospective students, and alumni.