11th February 2020 — Members of the King Edward’s Witley Chapel Choir made their biennial trip to Italy recently, this year travelling to Venice, where pupils had the privilege of performing at a number of iconic basilicas and churches, as well as participating in a Venetian mask making workshop, visiting local attractions – and of course indulging in pizza, pasta and authentic Italian gelato!
The group of 35, was led by the Director of Music, Stasio Sliwka and comprised pupils aged 11 to 18. One of the key highlights was the opportunity for the Chapel Choir to sing Choral Evensong at St George’s and Masses at Frari and at the renowned l Basilica di San Marco (St Mark’s Basilica) one of the city’s most spectacular buildings.
While rehearsing and performing were central to the experience, the pupils had plenty of time to enjoy many of Venice’s breathtaking sights, including: La Fenice, Venice’s famed and opulent opera house; The Accademia, Venice’s art gallery which is home to priceless paintings; the famous landmark Doges’ Palace; an interactive museum dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci; The Bridge of Sighs and of course, numerous trips on vaporettos, Venice’s public waterbus travelling along the Grand Canal.
In addition to the School’s entire fulltime music staff, some parents and grandparents also accompanied the pupils on this memorable visit to Venice.
Commenting on the Venice trip, Mr Sliwka said, “This visit represents so much more than a once in a lifetime opportunity to sing in one of the finest cathedral churches in Italy, complete with its magnificent architecture and domed ceilings which deliver such a unique sound. It also offers pupils the chance to experience a different culture. To witness at first hand some of history’s most notable sights and to feel a sense of independence as they travel as a group of young people, rather than as a family unit... We are fortunate enough to have a thriving music department but trips like these provide a whole new dimension to performing and working collaboratively as a choir.”