A documentary detailing the University of Tennessee Chamber Singers’ 2015 England Cathedral Residency will air on East Tennessee PBS at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 9.
Forty-six members of UT’s Chamber Singers spent 13 days in England in July 2015. Twelve of those days were spent in a residency filled with rehearsals and singing during cathedral Choral Evensong services at several famed venues — historic Canterbury Cathedral, and Saint Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London.
The students also performed a benefit concert at Saint Peter’s Anglican Church in Canterbury, with the proceeds going to help restore church windows damaged by Nazi bombs during World War II.
“This documentary allows viewers to travel to England with our students and see what a once-in-a-lifetime experience the trip was for participants,” said Jeffrey Pappas, director of UT’s School of Music. “At the same time, it also shines a spotlight on our School of Music and helps prospective students see the opportunities that exist at UT.”
UT’s Office of Video and Photography accompanied the group, documenting the trip in a series of eight diary videos. The office created the documentary by condensing these videos and adding interviews with Pappas, UT Chamber Singers Conductor Angela Batey and students who were on the trip.
“I’m always excited to see these students discover a new world,” said Batey. “I get a sense of excitement and wonder as I see the look on their faces when they see the Canterbury Cathedral.”
Batey leads the UT Chamber Singers on an international trip every three years, allowing each student the opportunity to go abroad during their college career.
“On these trips, they get to work their craft. Then they get to go to the venues that they have heard and read about,” said Batey. “It’s not only a music experience—it’s a culturally diverse experience.”
The UT Chamber Singers have another memorable experience coming up soon — they will be performing Choral Evensong at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., this May in preparation for their next international trip in 2018.
A short preview of the documentary is available online.