MSU and Kickapoo Choir Students Sing at Vatican

Tour St. Peter's Basilica

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –- The Missouri State University and Kickapoo High School choirs are performing at the Vatican this week. The MSU Choral Studies director is heading a music program in Italy this summer, inviting a select few choirs around the country to join the Missouri State Chorus, and Kickapoo was one of the lucky few.

The chorus sings a harmony unbroken by a language barrier.

"We can't communicate very well with each other,” said recent Kickapoo graduate Kaylee Grose. “We're still human beings and it's really interesting to be able to communicate through music."

From Springfield to the Vatican, it’s a 5,000-mile, 500-year opportunity Nathan Cornelius, the director of Choral Studies at Kickapoo, couldn’t pass up.

"I have so many kids who have not flown out of the country or been out of the country at all and to jump on a plane, and go to Italy of all places, and land in Rome.” Cornelius said. “And just watch their faces explode as they figure out ‘wow, we just stepped off a plane in a foreign country.’"

The Basilica was built in 1505, and Sarah Froncek, who will be a senior at Kickapoo in the fall, said she hopes her dip into history will help plan her future.

"I am really thinking about doing music, too,” Froncek said. “I don't know what yet, but it really shows what music can do and how far you can go with it."

Cornelius said, "I hope they do use it for furthering careers and experiences."

Grose is also excited to see how her choir’s experience abroad will bring them together back home.

"I don't know how in the world we got here but I'm just so thankful that being a part of a choir and a family such as Kickapoo's has gotten us here, in Italy, to sing at the Vatican,” she said.

Cornelius said everyone on the trip got to attend Mass at the Vatican, and Catholic students were also invited to take communion there.

Kickapoo plans to tour Rome Friday before heading back to the state Saturday.


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