Glowing Companion Tour Comments

Posted on February 12th, 2011 by

The Gustavus Choir delighted its audiences in Italy as much as the sights and tastes of Italy delighted the Gustie travelers.

The choir, however, earned especially high praise from its most faithful fans, the 15 members of the Gustavus Companion Tour. Those tour mates attended every concert and typically sat in the front row.

Here are comments regarding the Italian Tour 2011 experience from those most faithful fans:

“Experiencing Italy was such an amazing experience in itself with the richness of the culture and history. Adding the component of the choir — with the beauty of their music and voices in spectacular settings took the experience to another level. In addition, getting to know the students on an individual basis with their unique and wonderful personalities made the trip truly memorable.”
~Gabrielle Thon ’82 and mother of tenor Matt Thon ’11 (as well as Sarah ’09 and John ’13)

“Hearing and watching the choir in the enormous cathedrals has given me more shivers and tears than I can ever remember.”
~Lucy DeRemee ’56

“The Gustavus Choir has brought honor and praise to Gustavus.”
~Dick DeRemee ’55

“Va Bene!
An exciting, beautiful experience. The sound of the choir in the great cathedrals was worth the trip itself! The staff has been awesome. Thank you for letting me be a part of it.”
~Larry Lafayette, father of soprano Stephanie Lafayette ’11

“What a great blessing to be able to be immersed in such beautiful music in magnificent sacred places as we also experienced the beauty and art of Italy! I wish all of the parents could have heard their children perform on tour. They would all be very proud. I am humbled and so grateful for this musical journey as a member of the companion tour.”
~Jan Prehn

“Allora . . . The cathedrals echo with the beautiful music of the choir — awe inspiring! From Rome, Assisi, Orvieto, Florence, and beyond!
~Dotta Jo Walker, mother of tenor Jordan Walker ’11 and soprano Courtney Walker ’02 (whose cancer shortened life was celebrated on tour by the singing of “I Will Be With You,” a piece written by Stephen Paulus and commissioned by the JFK Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., for the Gustavus Choir)

“My experience was greatly enhanced by the quality of the choir’s performance. Each appearance struck a new high. And Dr. Aune added new performance challenges to each presentation — Gustavus be proud!”
~Russ Michaletz ’74 and father of bass Peter Michaletz ’12 (as well as Gusties Mara, Annie, and John)

“The echoes of the choir in the cathedrals provided me with a soundtrack for the trip of a lifetime. Although I’ve been in Italy several times, seeing it with the students made everything new.”
~Jan Michaletz ’74 and mother of bass Peter Micaletz ’12 (as well as Gusties Mara, Annie, and John)

“I was given a gift every day — for this I thank you all! You made me feel special, helped me spiritually through your beautiful music and gave me memories I will never forget. I think the director and his wife are special too!
~Elaine Aune, mother of Conductor Greg Aune and mother-in-law of Julie Aune

“I thought we would skip most of the concerts on the trip to see more sights . . . but I soon realized that hearing the choir in church after church was a highlight of the trip. Thanks to the choir for one awesome performance after the other.”
~Mary Pestel ’63

“I have had many great European adventures, but this tour topped the list. The art, history, being with wonderful people, and hearing the beauty of the Gustavus Choir in amazing sacred spaces was outstanding!”
~Bruce Johnson ’71

Come and hear the Gustavus Choir Home Concert Feb. 12, 2011 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in Christ Chapel. It is free and open to the public. If you are unable to visit campus, watch the premiere Gustavus concert webstream live online at:


Comments are closed.