Snapshots of Brown: Brown Chorus Heads to Cuba!

IMG_2243Welcome to Snapshots of Brown, your destination for pics of Brown all year long! I’m Celina Stewart, and I’ll be bringing you little photo insights into my third year on Brown’s campus. What’s up this week? Let’s take a look… 

Those of you who followed “From Albania to Zimbabwe” last year may remember that I love to travel. My always go-to for get to know you facts (usually in 2 Truths and 1 Lie) is that I have been to more countries than the number of years I am old. When I found out that the Brown Chorus goes on tour (my dream since singing with them during ADOCH before my freshman year), I wanted to go. Well, the time is now. Tomorrow, to be exact (today, for those reading this on Friday!).

This semester, I have acted as the International Tour Manager for the choir, and tomorrow we embark our plane first to Toronto, Canada, and then on to Havana, Cuba, where we will collaborate with Cuban choirs and students to perform a selection of music we’ve been preparing all year. So, what do we have in store?

The Brown Chorus has prepared a variety of musical selections, from American composers such as Andrew Copland, Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, Ebb, and Randall Thompson to bring to Cuba; in return, we’re learning some Cuban music, such as the song of their national dance. We’re looking forward to working with Cuban choirs to learn, sing, and perform these pieces.

In addition to these concerts, we also have a robust schedule of sight-seeing, meet and greets with Cuban choral groups and at performance sites, and plenty of learning experiences to engage with Cuban culture.

I’ve traveled in Latin America before, but this will be my first truly Caribbean country! I went to Costa Rica over this past summer, which shares a coastline with the Caribbean, but was on the Pacific side when I was beach-front. I love Latin American food, the music, the dance, and mostly, the people. As an IR concentrator at Brown with a focus on Latin America, I’m also really excited to finally see this country that the United States has had such an active imperial influence over- perhaps one of the only countries I’ve studied so in depth from both a Latin-ist and American foreign policy perspective.

I think one of the best aspects of Spring Break is the learning opportunity. I have a friend heading to Poland with her Global Learning course, which a variety of departments offer to students. Her course is specifically looking at the development of Poland and Lithuania, but other courses include an Art History course that heads to France, a Portuguese studies seminar (with an amazing professor!) heading to Brazil, and more. Although Choir is technically a class, we don’t have limitations on where we head for tour, and this year finally are culminating a process started about three years ago by a tour manager past. Many students also take Spring Break to travel with friends or volunteer groups internationally- I have friends heading on a cruise around the Caribbean, a friend heading to Panama for a volunteer medical program called Global Med, and other friends heading to Canada together for a weekend get away. These international trips don’t have to be expensive- there are ways to get away on any budget.

Then again, sometimes the best thing to do is just what two of my suite mates are doing: staying home and catching up on sleep! Clearly, that is the most time and energy efficient break idea possible (not to mention, easy on the wallet!). So, when you come to Brown, the question really becomes: where will Brown take you?

Want more snapshots and FAQ updates? Check out @thebruinclub on Twitter! Have questions or comments for me? Want more details? Send an email to celina_stewart@brown.edu and I’ll get back ASAP!

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