ENMU choir selected for European tour

By Zou Yang: PNT Staff Writer

The Eastern New Mexico University choir members are taking their music to Europe.

The two ENMU choirs have been chosen to represent New Mexico in the 2010 American Celebration of Music in Austria, which commemorates the 65th anniversary of the ending of World War II. Music Celebrations International of Tempe, Ariz., is organizing the tour, which starts on March 18.

Robert Garza, who is a music major at ENMU, is excited about the coming music tour to Austria.

“I am thrilled when I know that I am going to Europe,” Garza said.

All students involved in the ENMU choirs were eligible, and 50 plan to participate in the tour, ENMU Director of Choral Activities Jason Paulk said in an e-mail. Also, six singers from Kingswood United Methodist Church in Clovis are included.

“I want to learn every aspect about music. I am eager to see the cities where the great composers once lived and get to know how the performance life there would be,” Garza said.

The goal of the organizers is to include at least one instrumental and one choral group from each of the 50 states to participate in the celebration of music.

Students expect to experience a complete program of performances, sightseeing, culture exchanges, orientation meetings and learning from other participating American groups, an ENMU news release said.

ENMU was chosen upon its past achievements and has previous experience performing overseas, release said. In 2007, Paulk said, the ENMU choirs represented the United States at the Beijing, China, International Choral Festival.

Paulk also said the ENMU choirs have enjoyed a long tradition of great choral music, spanning many decades and directors.

The choirs have been featured at state and national music conventions.

“The choir maintains an active performing schedule throughout the year, both in Portales and through regional tour,” Paulk said. “Additionally, we have been invited to be the core of a festival choir that will perform in Carnegie Hall next year.”

Before their tour to Europe, the ENMU choirs intends to perform a concert at Marshall Auditorium at 7 p.m. March 12. Admission is free.

“We welcome everyone to come and hear some wonderful choral music.” Paulk said.

The cost of the tour is $2,500 per person. Each student is responsible for the cost.

For information on the trip or how to donate, contact Paulk at 562-2798 or jason.paulk@enmu.edu.