The Mira Costa Festival Choir will be giving performances of a lifetime when they travel to France and England beginning this week for a 10-day singing tour of famous cathedrals.
Led by Michael Hayden, director of choirs, and music theory teacher Mark McCormick, the contingent will include 54 students, including sophomores, juniors and seniors, along with and eight adults. The students are from all four curricular choirs at Mira Costa and have been rehearsing on Sunday afternoons for the past seven weeks in preparation for the trip. It is completely funded by the student’s families, according to Hayden, who feels the tour gives the students a “global perspective of life.”
“When you put music into the mix ,then it becomes something even more meaningful and memorable,” said Hayden, who was named last November by the Department of Education as one of the five California Teachers of the Year. “To share music with others in foreign countries bridges many divides. It truly brings people together.”
The Festival Choir will be singing Liturgical music for two Catholic masses, according to Hayden. The music includes pieces from William Byrd, Mass for Four Voices, “Sanctus” by Cesar Geoffray, “Agnus Dei” by classical Italian composer Antonio Lotti, and “Benediction” by American composer Peter Lutkin. They will also be performing several American spirituals and hymn arrangements and other classical selections.
“We are singing in some of the most famous cathedrals in the world. Most of our students have not had that experience and therefore it will be life changing. I think this tour will be very special in many ways,” Hayden said.