Department of Music ensembles usually wait until spring break or the end of the spring term to go on tour, but some opportunities are too significant to pass up. Such is the case with an invitation to the Pitt Men’s Glee Club from the government of West Flanders in Belgium to perform at the Waregem Flanders Fields Commemorative Weekend taking place on October 8. The program commemorates the 100th anniversary of a battle in Flanders Fields and is part of the GoneWest: Reflections on the Great War initiative by the government of West Flanders. The 'West' in GoneWest refers to the idea of following the setting sun, as many fallen soldiers who fought in Belgium were carried West across the fields after each battle was done.
The Glee Club and the Steel City Men’s Chorale, both directed by Richard Teaster, will embark on a concert tour of the Netherlands and Belgium from October 4-9. During the whirlwind trip, the ensembles will give commemorative concerts together with three European choirs: Arabesk (Ghent), Con Cuore (Waregem), and Kammerchor Consono (Cologne). This will be the Glee Club’s second time in Belgium, the first time being part of a larger tour to Belgium, France and the Netherlands in 2013.
The Glee Club and Steel City Men’s Chorale will head East on October 4 and on their way to the final event in Waregem, Belgium, perform in Amsterdam (October 6), attend a choral concert in the city of Tielt, Belgium in the afternoon of October 7, and perform in Ghent that evening with the Arabesk Ladies Choir.
The busy tour schedule will culminate on October 8 with the commemorative concert in collaboration with Arabesk, Con Cuore, Kammerchor Consono. The combined choirs will join with Symphonic Orchestra La Passione to perform a concert including Ralph Vaughn Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem and 5 gospel songs from A Child of Our Time by Michael Tippet.
Congratulations to Richard Teaster and the Pitt Men’s Glee Club for their participation in this auspicious international event!