What our wonderful alumni have to say about our program...
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Kathie & Martin Renzhofer,
Alto and Travel Companion
“When I signed up for the 2019 program in SICILY I was very excited. But I can’t fully express how the entire experience far exceeded my expectations. All aspects of the program were organized into the smallest detail and the collaboration between Paulo Faustini of Serenades Choral Travel and Karen La Rosa
from La RosaWorks was flawless. I’m sure behind the scenes there were months of detailed planning and organizing and worrying – but for the participants, it was a breeze. If you are a CHORAL SINGER, this program is intense and hard work, but it’s wonderful beyond words and worth every single moment. I learned more in three days of rehearsals in Sicily than I’ve learned in many years of singing. And the friendships developed with the other singers were immediate. I felt I had known and enjoyed these kind and special people for many years, not just a few short days. In addition to the music, which for me was paramount, the beautiful architecture and landscapes of Sicily were incredible and amazing. The food and wine was absolutely luscious and the people of Sicily couldn’t have been more gracious and kind. This was an experience of a lifetime; I rank it number one of all the vacations I’ve enjoyed over the years. Singing in breathtakingly beautiful churches was a dream comes true. I strongly recommend this program, without hesitation, to singers and their non-singing significant others. There is fun and beauty and music for all. Thank you, Paulo!”
Mary Burch, Soprano
"I went into my second program with Serenades Choral Travel with the mind set of what I could contribute to this choral group, what else I could learn as singer and as an artist. I initially had planned on being in Italy on my own for this summer. Then I learned that Serenades Choral would be returning to Italy, it's birth place. I was interested in seeing other parts of Italy not very common to the average tourist. A country where ancient and modern world are intermingled. Singing with the Serenades Choral ensemble, you can either go in as a content choral singer, which isn't a bad thing, or you can allow yourself to be positively challenged and encouraged by a world renowned, conscientious conductor, David Hayes, and a well seasoned singer, vocal teacher, Paulo Faustini, to emerge as a "Serenader". I was looking for the latter experience and as a singer, I was not disappointed. It was a mixture of intense, thorough rehearsals to produce elegant, full house performances in which we
become one voice, one beautiful moving sound. My personal time away from the group was filled with wonderful discoveries such as: 19th century embellished baroque findings, a lounge restaurant bookstore embedded in an old church, to being spectator of an opulent wedding in the cathedral piazza of tropical Siracusa applauding with the crowd, to passing a jazz saxophonists playing in the boulevard park, Noto is a city grounded in culture and art. Off the beaten path but with the most lovely detours. When the Mediterranean heat lifts, violet orange dusk fell upon the region. Stars illuminated every night filled with exquisite wines birthed by Mount Etna's mineral infused soil. Fresh, local, sustainable eateries; some featured on international food shows, others locally known hidden treasures, to highly acclaimed Michelin star restaurants worthy of their honorary ratings. All organized by the dynamic and charming Karen La Rosa of La RosaWorks. Complimented with endless flow of hospitality, Italian style, genuine graciousness and kindness. Last impression spending the first evening in the courtyard of the exquisite Zisola wine estate complete with starry constellations needle worked into the nighttime sky above. Divine."
Viviana & Chuck Holmes
Alto & Tenor
“As a first-time participant with Serenades Choral Travel, I was drawn not only to the music, but to the incredible locale of the program. I was charmed by Noto and the surrounding towns that we visited in Sicily. While participating in a small a cappella group and singing a varied repertoire was the main attraction, I absolutely reveled in the food and wine! I was so pleased that we had such enthusiastic audience each concert night. I have traveled with other singing groups, but this was a different, more personal experience. Bottom line, I would sing with Serenades Choral Travel again!” – Viviana
“Sing beautiful music in gorgeous historic setting, live for twelve days in 18th century baroque surrounding, work hard, play hard, eat and drink bene. These were what attracted me to join the 2019 Serenades Choral Travel program in Sicily. As I look back, the experiences far exceeding my expectations – and how! But what I didn’t count on were the wonderful participants in the program – enthusiastic, friendly, talented, outgoing, delightful. Kudos to Paulo, David and Karen for making this one of the best life-time events ever.” – Chuck