Southwestern College’s School of Arts & Communications professor Dr. Teresa Russell and 50 of her students recently traveled halfway across the world for the honor of performing with The Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra and The Continuo Arts Festival Chorus in Rome, Italy.
As part of the 13th International Festival Di Musica e Arte Sacra, Dr. Russell took center stage inside the spectacular Basilica of St. Ignatius Loyola to conduct the orchestra and the chorus her students participated in.
The students are part of Dr. Russell’s Music 185-188 Concert Choir classes. The class did an immense amount of fundraising—usually in the form of choir performances around San Diego—to travel to Rome. Dr. Russell and her class travel to perform at destinations throughout the United States and abroad every few years. Previous trips include performances at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and international performances in Paris, Sydney and Syros, Greece.
“It was a great honor to serve as Guest Conductor of The Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra and The Continuo Arts Festival Chorus, at the Vatican sponsored International Festival of Sacred Music and Art in Rome this past October,” said Dr. Russell. “I cannot overemphasize how proud I was to share this performing opportunity with our SWC Concert Choir including featured soloists: Charisma Miller, Linda Scott and Victor Chan. The outstanding musicians and magnificent venue created an unforgettable musical experience.”
According to their website, the main objective of the Continuo Arts Festival is to increase the public’s awareness of the Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra, an organization that raises funds for the restoration of religious artifacts and buildings. Nine different performances took place inside the Papal Basilicas of Rome over the course of the eight-day festival.
Video interview of Dr. Teresa Russel