Campbellsville University Ensemble Enters International Competition

By Rachel Crenshaw, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – The Campbellsville University Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Frieda Gebert, associate professor of music and associate dean of the School of Music, will be destined for Italy during spring break to enter into a sacred international competition.
This will be the first time in the university’s history that an ensemble will compete at an international level.

“I am very excited about the prospect of directing the first ensemble from the School of Music that will be competing internationally,” said Gebert. “The students have worked very diligently to raise the money and are very excited about the trip.”

The competition will be in Verona, which, according to the sponsors, is a perfect choral destination. The three-day festival will feature 30 choirs from around the world, including men’s and ladies’ groups, mixed choirs and youth choirs.

Each choir will have the maximum time of 20 minutes to perform their chosen pieces and will each be judged by seven internationally acclaimed adjudicators.

The highlight of the competition, Gebert said, is the chance to perform at the city’s Roman Arena, which is the third largest in the world.

“This is the chance of a lifetime,” said Chorale member Emily Bryant. “I can’t believe that in just a few weeks I am going to be competing at an international level in Italy.”

The University Chorale, an auditioned group consisting of more than 30 members who meet three days a week, has been working very vigorously to master several leading compositions, Gebert said.

Puccini and Bernstein are among several of the prominent composers that make up the chorale’s diverse pieces selected for the competition.

Students in the University Chorale include: Rachel Crenshaw, a sophomore from Shepherdsville, Ky.; Rachel Morrison, a senior from Crestwood, Ky.; Timothy Howe, a freshman from Dry Ridge, Ky.; Heather Massey, a senior from Science Hill, Ky.; Melody Hall, a junior from Rockfield, Ky.; E.J. Pavy, a senior from Campbellsville; David Rodgers, a senior from Hawesville, Ky.; Josh Myers, a junior from Campbellsville; Belani Segunda, a graduate student from Brazil; Mary Grace Lee, a junior from Liberty, Ky.; Brittany Hall, a senior from Lawrenceburg, Ky.; Anna Troth, a senior from Frankfort, Ky.; Andrew Hillard, a senior from Elizabethtown, Ky.;
Phillip Brann, a senior from Robards, Ky.; Bridgette Sallee, a senior from Nicholasville, Ky.; Carmen Drake, a junior from Sonora, Ky.; Sarah Smith, a junior from Brandenburg, Ky.; Erin Johnson, a sophomore from Russellville, Ky.; Clint Warf, a senior from Greensburg, Ky.; Marcelo Ferreira, a graduate student from Brazil;

Dr. Alcingstone Cunha, assistant professor of music at CU; Carla Edmondson, a sophomore from Independence, Ky.; Ashleigh Frey, a freshman from Bardstown, Ky.; Megan Massey, a junior from Science Hill; Jamaal Stiles, a senior from Campbellsville; Emily Bryant, a junior from Louisville; and Rachel Coburn, a senior from Nortonville, Ky.

The chorale will be leaving on March 24 and plans to return on April 1. During its stay in Italy the musical ensemble will be visiting the cities of Florence, Milan and Venice. The chorale will be performing for several schools and concert halls while there.

In addition, Gebert said, the chorale will get to experience the rich history and culture of the European country. The students will be visiting several significant landmarks such as the Canal Grande in Venice and the Alpine peaks in Milan. The ensemble will also be visiting several museums such as the Galleria dell’ Accademia in Florence and the Museo Vill Puccini, the former home of Puccini in Milan.

If you would like to make a gift to support the University Chorale’s trip to Italy, contact Gebert at (270) 789-5193 or by e-mail at

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,405 students who represent 98 Kentucky counties, 25 states and 29 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2008 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South and eighth in the South for “Great Schools, Great Prices.” CU has been ranked 15 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his ninth year as president.

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