Music class takes students to Bahamas to sing

Castleton University students will be singing in the Bahamas from Aug. 19-30 as part of a new music course being offered next fall.
The 3-credit course, MUS 2710-C01 Music of the Americas, will be instructed by musical director Sherrill Blodget and consists of the trip in August and three wrap-up classes for final presentations in September. There is a possibility of the course counting toward Aesthetic Understanding and or Worlds View frame too, Blodget said.
 “All students, faculty, and staff at Castleton are welcome, though you must be interested in singing and choral music,” Blodget said, adding that a short application of interest is required for participation.
Students will be staying at the Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel in the Bahamas for 11 nights as part of the American Choral Music Festival. Each student will

Courtesy photo / Vincent Tatro

Music professor Sherril Blodget conducts students in class.

participate in a series of one out of 17 workshops and one of three one-day studio workshops that will focus on the music of the Bahamas, Spirituals and Latin American Choral/Orchestra music.
The workshops range from several styles of music from “Cari Classics: Bahamian Classical Music” and “Bahama Broadway! Songs of the Bahamian Stage.” Each workshop is three hours long and varies in level of musical experience.
“Through participation in the America-Cantat 8 Festival, students will be immersed in a wealth of Latin American and North American Choral music,” Blodget said.
Each night, choral ensembles from each country will be giving concerts for the students to attend. Through the workshops, students will learn songs from each country and perform them at the festival.
Castleton music student Katy Albert is taking the course so she can learn about music from different cultures she’s not familiar with.
“I think it’s really important as a performer to travel anywhere you can whenever you have the opportunity and get the insight of anyone in the field,” Albert said.
The Atlantis is a resort in Paradise Island, Bahamas. The resort includes a water park complete with many attractions.
“The resort you’re staying at has 140 acres of land, pools, sharks, aquariums and other stuff. I don’t want people who just want to party for 10 days, but it doesn’t hurt that it’s there,” Blodget said.
The actual festival itself lasts eight days, with one free day built in for personal time, and additional island excursions at extra costs. Some of the offered excursions include Powerboat Adventures and The Art of Chocolate Making and Factory Tour.
“I’m excited to perform with new people, and the whole tropical island thing doesn’t hurt the cause,” Albert said.
The cost of the entire trip is set at $2,000 and a $100 deposit is due April 4 to ensure students spots in the course.
And students fearing not being able to come up with the money to pay for the trip needn’t worry because it’s covered as part of the fall tuition, like any other course, Blodgett said.
After the trip, students are expected to prepare a presentation on their experiences during the festival and present to the class.
“What I’m looking for is people who are genuinely interested in the festival itself, but to know that there will be plenty of time to explore the Bahamas and the Atlantis,” Blodget said.

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