Voices in Roanoke’s Choir Travel

Choir isn’t limited to musical experiences, but exposes students to world travel

When students are selected to join the Roanoke College choir, they better have a passport and suitcase in hand.

Over the last decade, the choir has performed in more than 10 countries in addition to fairly frequent concerts in and around Roanoke College.

Under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Sandborg, the choir visited England, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Scotland, Wales, Austria and Brazil. Future tours are planned for Poland, Hungary and Slovakia.

"My four years in Roanoke College were filled with amazing experiences - like those on the hallowed beaches of Normandy and the exotic streets of Rio de Janeiro," says Greg Elrod '06.

The group's recent trip to France included performances at the D-Day commemoration activities in Normandy as well as at the famous Notre Dame in Paris.

From around the world to its own backyard, the choir has made a real name for itself. Its reputation is strong locally and throughout the state, where the group holds frequent concerts.

The choir also recently has performed in Washington, D.C. at the National Cathedral and the Lord of Life Lutheran Church. They were invited there by the Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Sandborg, who has directed the choir since 1985 and has helped shape its reputable name, particularly praises the Synod, saying, "These people are very strong supporters of Roanoke College and they love to see talented, disciplined students."

The group often collaborates with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra performing pieces such as Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Duruflé's "Requiem," Orff's "Carmina Burana," Mahler's Symphony No. 2 and Prokofiev's "Alexander Nevsky."

The choir has had valuable experiences sharing the stage with world-renowned conductor and clinicians such as Gunnar Eriksson, Ulrika Karlsson, Stefan Forssen, Lone Larsen and Roger Treece.

Being a member of the Roanoke College Choir offers a variety of musical experiences, but it doesn't stop there. Traveling plays a major role in how the group shares its art, whether it is with the local community or an audience of strangers halfway around the world.


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