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WC Graduate and Faculty Members Embarking upon Choral Tour of Eastern Europe

Highlight to Include Singing Mozart's 'Requiem' in 1,000-Voice Choir

May 14, 2014

Rebekah Muchmore sings a solo during the Wilmington College' Chorale's Spring Choral Concert earlier this month.

Rebekah Muchmore sings a solo during the Wilmington College' Chorale's Spring Choral Concert earlier this month.

Two Wilmington College faculty members and a 2014 graduate left this week for a two-week pilgrimage to Eastern Europe.

Rebekah Muchmore, who graduated last week, was asked to join the 42-voice St. John’s Unitarian Universalist Church Choir of Cincinnati on its 14-day journey to Budapest, Hungary, and Transylvania, Romania.

Catherina Roma, who recently retired as a professor of music at WC, is St. John’s minister of music and conducts the choir, while Rachel Kramer, adjunct faculty in music at the College and St. John’s associate director of music, provides piano accompaniment.

The group will visit several Unitarian churches in Hungary and Romania, including St. John’s partner congregation in the Hungarian-speaking village of Nyaradszentlaszlo. A highlight of the tour will feature the choir joining a choir of more than 1,000 singers in performing Mozart’s Requiem in Budapest’s Palace of Arts.

The choir also will sing in the First Unitarian Church of Budapest, and at three Unitarian churches in Transylvania. The pilgrimage will end with a five-day stay at the St. John’s partner church village, where pilgrims will spend time with villagers.

Muchmore minored in music and was a mainstay of the Wilmington College Chorale and other choral groups at WC. She expressed her appreciation to Roma for inviting her to participate and excitement for the upcoming jounrey.

(LEFT) Catherine Roma (left) and Rachel Kramer (right) are featured with St. John's Choir.

“It was breathtaking for us to sing Mozart’s Requiem in Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati recently,” she said. “It blows my mind that we’ll be singing in cathedrals that were there before Columbus discovered America.”

This pilgrimage is part of the 200th Anniversary year being celebrated by St. John’s.

With the beginning of St. John’s partnership with the Unitarians in Nyaradszentlaszlo in 1990, the Cincinnati congregation learned about the 450-year history of Unitarianism in Transylvania, its remarkable survival under significant oppression, and the Hungarian language and culture that is central to the Unitarians there. The two congregations have collaborated to make major repairs to the historic church building and parsonage, and to construct a community building in the village.

St. John’s partnership with Szentlaszlo has fostered friendships and community building here and abroad for 24 years.

The choir will present a service of celebration, song and experience June 8, at 11 a.m., at St. John’s Unitarian Universalist Church in Cincinnati.