College Choir Travels to Tokyo for an International Tour
Following Commencement, the Westmont College Choir and Chamber Singers took off on a nine-day tour to Tokyo, Japan — the first international choir tour since the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by Daniel Gee ’13, director of choral activities, the choir’s itinerary includes joint concerts with Japanese collegiate ensembles, including those from Waseda University and the Tokyo College of Music, as well as performances at Tokyo Union Church, Tokyo Christian University, and the Christian Academy of Japan.
As part of its tour repertoire, the choir will perform pieces by Japanese composers such as Ko Matsushita, Maki Ueda, and Takatomi Nobunaga, as well as what Gee describes as “a multifaceted representation of American choral music.” This mix of pieces ranges from Western Classical, the Black American spiritual, and gospel tradition, and Latin American traditions.
Many of this year’s seniors on the tour experienced their first year in College Choir in 2020-21, when Gee joined the faculty. It was a challenging start to his time at Westmont due to COVID-19 restrictions. These students first rehearsed with him by Zoom, making this year’s international tour together an especially meaningful way to conclude their choral experience at Westmont.