The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

April 22, 2013

Central College A Cappella Choir to tour Brazil

PELLA — The Central College A Cappella Choir will tour Brazil in May, singing at prestigious venues such as the Cathedrals of Sao Paulo and Rio di Janeiro. The choir will also be working with the Northeast Rotary Club in Sao Paulo to collect shoes for those in need.

The A Cappella Choir is no stranger to Midwestern tours, but this is the group’s first trip to Brazil. The A Cappella Choir does one international tour every four years. Choir director and associate professor of music Mark Babcock is hoping that the tour has a significant impact on everyone involved.

“Collegiate choir ensemble tours are relational and transformational,” says Babcock. “They help diverse students from a variety of majors connect more deeply to each other and with audiences around the world.”

The choir is partnering with the Northeast Rotary Club in Sao Paulo, which has collected new and used shoes to distribute to people in need throughout Brazil for more than a decade. The club focuses on rural communities, as well as impoverished areas in Brazil’s largest cities. Through the end of 2012, there had been more than 50,000 pairs of shoes collected and distributed. The choir hopes to add to the number as a goodwill gesture.

To raise funds for the tour, the A Cappella Choir is performing in pre-tour events. Collection boxes for new and gently used shoes will be available. In addition, free will offerings are accepted to help support fundraising efforts. The choir will tour Sao Paulo, Iguacu and Rio di Janeiro May 14-25.

“Tours raise artistic vision both from inspiring venues and the repetition of literature,” Babcock says. “They transform students’ view of themselves, others, the world and the relationship between the arts and human expression.”

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