This past summer, the Blue Mountain Chorale went on a tour in Ireland. Although this was not the first trip that the BMC Chorale had embarked on, it was a large trip for our BMC students. Dr. Greg Long, director of the choir and the group trip, says, “Now that we’ve sung at Carnegie Hall […], I want[ed] us to do something international.” Dr. Long says he did some searching, and Ireland was decided upon. He lists several reasons for choosing this as their destination, saying, “Because of the language option, and because we’re more connected to Ireland and England than any other country, I thought that would be a good first start.”
When asked about the best part of the trip, Dr. Long admitted, “That’s hard. […] The performances were a real highlight, but yet, the beautiful scenery […]” He goes on to list some of the highlights of the country they saw, saying, “beautiful cliffs, […] beautiful sheep farms, […] beautiful scenery.” The memories of Ireland’s scenery were great memories of the students who went on the trip as well. When asked what the best part of the trip was for her, Katie-Rae Carmichael says, “The scenery, that was probably the best part overall, it was so beautiful.”
The trip, however, was not only for sightseeing. “We sang five times on the trip, sang in some beautiful cathedrals, and then we led in a Sunday morning church service,” says Dr. Long. The BMC Chorale was able to use their gifts in many beautiful settings, and this was a highlight for the students as well. Carmichael echoes Dr. Long, saying, “I enjoyed singing in all the cathedrals.”
For the BMC Chorale family, this trip was about more than just singing a prepared program or seeing a new country. It was also a time to grow closer together. Dr. Long says, “We had a great time together, and we had a wonderful time traveling around, and then the singing was just a real special part of it.”
The Chorale is planning “another student performance trip, and that’s to Italy for 2024.” Dr. Long says that he hopes the trip will include Rome, Venice, Florence, and Pisa. “I’m already raising funds,” he says. “This time students only paid $500 for the whole $4,000 trip to Ireland.” The trip to Italy is open to more than just the BMC Chorale students. Says Dr. Long, “It’s not just choir members. I’ll open it up to other students, faculty, parents, family, alumni.” A new adventure waits for any BMC student willing to take make the trip.