La dolce vita in Italy for the Mitchell House Choir

POLOKWANE – With most people calling a trip to Italy, the trip of a lifetime, Mitchell House’s choir got the chance to spend 11 days in the beautiful country from 14-25 July.

The choir, along with choir conductor, Amrian Terblanche; pianist, Martin van der Westhuizen; College head, Claude Goeminne; college teacher, Amanda Goeminne as well as Intermediate Head and Deputy Head, Kathy Proctor, also went with were chosen to take part in the 9th Toscana Music Festival in Tuscany, Italy.

The competition, hosts international choirs and orchestras in Tuscany, with 12 countries taking part.

Including South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Austria, Romania, Belgium, China as well as Poland took part.

The tour began in Verona, where the group enjoyed a walking tour of the city, including highlights such as the ancient Roman Arena and Juliet’s balcony.

The choir arriving in Verona.
Photo: Amanda Goeminne

Amanda Goeminne in Verona.
Photo: Amanda Goeminne

The following day, the group visited Gardaland Park, which is an amusement park adjacent to Lake Garda, in Verona.

Choir conductor, Amrian Terblanche (R) with three Mitchell House learners at the Gardaland Amusement park in Italy.
Photo: Amanda Goeminne


Sir Goeminne!
College head, Claude Goeminne takes a photo at the Gardaland Amusement Park in Italy.
Photo: Amanda Goeminne

The following day, the group moved on to Venice, where they were guided through a tour including St Mark’s Square.

The group then moved to Montecatini, where the festival would take place.

Here, the learners practiced for an hour before taking a quick excursion to Vinci.

The choir sang a total of 10 songs and were beautifully dressed in traditional African attire.

The festival also included a parade through the streets of Montecatini, the day after, including all of the countries that took part.

Choir conductor, Amrian Terblanche and pianist, Martin van der Westhuizen with the Mitchell House choir during the festival parade. Photo: Martin van der Westhuizen

With the festival over, it was time to be real tourists as the group visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa and took a day trip to Rome where they took in the magnificent sights of the beautiful Colosseum and Catacombs.

They also visited the Vatican City, where they got to see the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica.

The group arrived back in Polokwane late on Tuesday evening, 25 July, and Amanda described the trip as unforgettable.

It was the most amazing experience and it will take time to digest everything… Italy is beautiful. The history is overwhelming and the cities, towns and buildings breath-taking. The Colloseum was the highlight for me, with the Vatican a close second,” she concluded.

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Raeesa Kimmie

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