University Band Performs in Italy

News Story: January 29, 2014

The Sacred Heart University band’s first trip to Italy was a resounding success, creating lasting memories for SHU’s international superstars. The 52 band members, along with three professional staff, performed back-to-back concerts during the trip, which took place in early January. 

The first concert was performed in Alba Radians Theater in Albano Laziale in the Castelli Romani area. But it was the second performance in the town of Faleria at St. Julian Church, built in 1258, that had the group in awe and was the highlight of their experience in Italy. “The second performance was one people will remember forever,” says Keith Johnston, director of Bands.

“The entire town gathered to welcome us in the piazza before our concert. They were waving American flags, and the local band ‘Banda Brasilini’, performed The Star Spangled Banner,” recalls French horn player Michael Nigro, a senior. In addition, Mayor Marco del Vecchio and Antonio Giacomini, the parish priest, welcomed the SHU band and exchanged gifts commemorating the performance, which was the start of the celebration of Saint Julian, patron Saint of the town of Faleria. 

Mary Awad, a sophomore and flutist, blogged about the band’s experience abroad each day while in Italy. It gave her an outlet to reflect and document her feelings about the experience. “I think traveling is awesome, so I would like to see as much as I can,” she said

The group also had a chance to explore on their own and tour the Vatican, Roman Forum, the Coliseum and Trevi Fountain. “My hope is that the students will go back and explore in greater depth one day,” Johnston said. “The trip was such an incredible experience that they are already brainstorming for their next international trip.”