May 2016 - Discover: Italy

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Join BC alumni, President and Mrs. Bushman and the Bridgewater College Chorale on a tour of Italy, led by Drs. John McCarty and Larry Taylor.

Experience rich artistic and cultural history on this 11-day tour featuring Rome, Florence and Venice.

In Rome, you’ll tour some of the most well-known locations in European history:

In Florence, you’ll visit places such as:

Your time in Venice will include a visit to Basilica San Marco, the birthplace of Venetian polychoral music.

The trip also includes three concerts performed by the Bridgewater College Chorale in historic Italian churches and tickets to two professional classical concerts.

Explore the history of Western music and art in these beautiful Italian cities, led by Dr. John McCarty, assistant professor of music at Bridgewater College and conductor of the Chorale, and Dr. Larry Taylor, associate professor of music at BC.

Itinerary

Download the Itinerary

Tuesday, May 17: IN FLIGHT

Check in at Washington airport
Depart on flight(s) to Rome

Wednesday, May 18: ROME

Arrive at airport
Clear Immigration and Customs and meet your courier(s)
Transfer by coach to the hotel and check in

Evening
Dinner in the hotel

Thursday, May 19: ROME

Morning
Breakfast in the hotel
Guided sightseeing tour of Ancient Rome, including entrance to the Roman Forum and Coliseum
Lunch on your own

Afternoon
At leisure

Evening
Dinner in a restaurant
Ticket to attend a professional concert

Friday, May 20: ROME

Morning
Breakfast in the hotel
Entrance to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
Lunch on your own

Afternoon
Rehearsal

Evening
Concert
Dinner in a restaurant

Saturday, May 21: FLORENCE

Morning
Breakfast in the hotel
Depart by coach for Florence (c. 4 hrs), stopping en route in Perugia for independent sightseeing
Lunch on your own

Afternoon
Arrive in Florence and check in to the hotel

Evening
Dinner in the hotel

Sunday, May 22: FLORENCE

Morning
Breakfast in the hotel
Guided sightseeing tour, which will include such famous sights as the Palazzo Vecchio, the Duomo, the Medici Chapels and the Ponte Vecchio
Lunch on your own

Afternoon
Entrance to the Uffizi Gallery

Evening
Dinner in a restaurant
Ticket to attend a professional concert

Monday, May 23: FLORENCE

Morning
Breakfast in the hotel
Entrance to the Accademia, to see Michelangelo’s statue of David
Lunch on your own

Afternoon
Transfer by coach to Pisa (to be confirmed, c. 1.5 hrs)
Rehearsal

Evening
Concert
Dinner in a restaurant
Return by coach to Florence

Tuesday, May 24: VENICE-MESTRE

Morning
Breakfast in the hotel
At leisure
Lunch on your own

Afternoon
Depart by coach for Venice-Mestre (c. 3 hrs)
Arrive in Venice-Mestre and check in to the hotel

Evening
Dinner in the hotel

Wednesday, May 25: VENICE-MESTRE

Morning
Breakfast in the hotel
Transfer by coach and vaporetto to Venice Island
Walking tour of the city, during which you will see the Piazza and Basilica San Marco, the "Bridge of Sighs," the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal
Lunch on your own

Afternoon
At leisure

Evening
Dinner in a restaurant
Return by vaporetto and coach to the hotel

Thursday, May 26: VENICE-MESTRE

Morning
Breakfast in the hotel
Transfer by coach and vaporetto to Venice Island
At leisure
Lunch on your own

Afternoon
Rehearsal

Evening
Concert
Farewell dinner in a restaurant
Return by vaporetto and coach to the hotel

Friday, May 27: HOME

Morning
Breakfast in the hotel
Transfer by coach to the airport and check in
Depart on flight(s) to Washington
Arrive at Washington airport

Cost and Reservation Deadlines

The cost for the BC Alumni Abroad trip to Italy depends in part on fluctuations in the exchange rate, but is currently projected at approximately $4,900 per person for double occupancy in superior tourist-class hotels. Travelers requesting a single-occupancy hotel room will pay an additional $500, making their total cost approximately $5,400. The price of the tour includes airfare, ground transportation in a luxury bus, lodging, breakfasts and dinners, admission to two professional symphonic and/or operatic performances, admission to all museums and sites as listed in the itinerary, an English-speaking guide for the entirety of the tour, three performances by the Bridgewater College Chorale, gratuities for all guides and optional lectures by members of Bridgewater’s music faculty. Lunches, drinks and costs associated with activities not listed in the itinerary are not included in the cost of the tour.

An initial deposit of $1,900 is due by 8 a.m. on Monday, September 7, 2015. We will accept deposits until we reach the trip limit of 40 travelers. Once you have submitted your deposit, we cannot offer any refunds. Payment of the remaining $3,000 will be due by 8 a.m. on Wednesday, December 30, 2015. Travelers whose final payments are received after December 30 may incur an additional surcharge. When making your deposit, please indicate whether you are requesting a single-occupancy hotel room. If so, your payment on December 30 will be adjusted to $3,500 to reflect the additional $500 single-occupancy fee.

To make payments for the trip, you can either mail a personal check or make your payment online.

If you wish to mail a check, please make your check payable to “Bridgewater College” and write “Italy Alumni Trip” in the memo line. Mail your check to the following address:

Finance Office
Bridgewater College
402 East College Street
Bridgewater, VA 22812

If you wish to make an online payment, please visit BC's online payment site. While the website is designed for student payments, you are still able to use it for the alumni trip payment.

Follow the following steps in order to make your online payment:

  1. Enter your first name and last name in the appropriate fields.
  2. In the “Student ID” field, enter “Italy.”
  3. In the “For:” pull-down menu, choose “Alumni Abroad – Italy.”
  4. Enter the amount you wish to pay in the “Payment Amount” field.
  5. Choose your method of payment (either credit card or electronic check – please note that a service fee will be applied to online payments)

At that point, click the “Submit to Verify Data” button at the bottom of the screen, and you will be taken to a new page where you can enter your credit card or bank information.

Contact Dr. John McCarty at 540-828-5305 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information on submitting your deposit or with questions about the itinerary.

Health and Safety

For travel programs like alumni trips, the College asks that all participants have appropriate overseas health coverage while abroad. Your current insurance policy may cover you while abroad, so calling your insurance representative is always a good place to start. In the event they do not cover you while travelling internationally, the College’s center for international education refers you to the U.S. Department of State’s list of Travel Medical Insurance Providers.

The College does purchase a basic evacuation plan for the group, which covers medical evacuation and political/natural disaster evacuation. It is a basic plan that ensures all participants could be evacuated in the event of a true emergency. It should not be considered comprehensive, or even baseline, international medical coverage, nor does it provide trip cancellation insurance. If participants are interested in cancellation insurance, that usually needs to be purchased near the date of the first deposit.

For more information, contact Anne Marsh, coordinator of international education, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 540-828-8024.

Bridgewater College requires that participants of our international programs (including alumni trips) complete an online waiver, which can be found here: https://bridgewater.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_db77fpJeBdanYzP

Drs. John McCarty and Larry Taylor: Faculty Guides

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Dr. John McCarty is an assistant professor of music and the director of choral music at Bridgewater College, where he conducts the Chorale, Concert Choir and Oratorio Choir; teaches courses in music history, music education and ethnomusicology; and directs the Gospel Choir and A Cappella Choir.

He earned his doctor of musical arts degree in choral conducting, pedagogy and literature from James Madison University, master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Minnesota and bachelor’s degree in K-12 vocal music education from the University of St. Thomas. As a choral singer, he has performed with VocalEssence in Minneapolis, Minn. and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Chorale in St. Paul, Minn. As an active conductor in a variety of settings, he has run clinics in churches and schools and conducted honors choirs throughout Virginia. He was formerly the conductor of the Page County Community Choir and the Main Street Singers and is currently the music director at Clover Hill United Methodist Church.

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Dr. Larry Taylor is an associate professor of music at Bridgewater College, where he teaches piano, organ, music theory and history and serves as the music department chair.

He holds a doctor of musical arts degree in organ from the University of Cincinnati (where he won the Strader Organ Competition), master of music degrees from Emory University and the University of Notre Dame, and a bachelor of music degree from Seton Hill University. As a composer, he has collaborated frequently with poet Tom Noe to produce anthems, cantatas, the song cycle Marie Curie and the opera Eros and Psyche. In addition to solo recitals on piano and organ, he has arranged and performed accompaniments on organ for classic silent films.

Suggested Reading and Listening

Reading List

Burke, Peter. The Italian Renaissance: Culture and Society in Italy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014.

Cusick, Suzanne. Francesca Caccini at the Medici Court: Music and the Circulation of Power. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Elders, Willem. Josquin des Prez and His Musical Legacy: An Introductory Guide. Leuven, BEL: Leuven University Press, 2013.

Fenlon, Iain. Music and Culture in Late Renaissance Italy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Howard, Deborah and Laura Moretti. Sound and Space in Renaissance Venice: Architecture, Music, Acoustics. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010.

Lockwood, Lewis. Music in Renaissance Ferrara 1400-1505: The Creation of a Musical Center in the Fifteenth Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Palisca, Claude V. Humanism in Italian Renaissance Musical Thought. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1986. 

Rodin, Jesse. Josquin's Rome: Hearing and Composing in the Sistine Chapel. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Rosand, Ellen. Opera in Seventeenth-Century Venice: The Creation of a Genre. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2007.

Sherr, Richard, ed. Papal Music and Musicians in Late Medieval and Renaissance Rome. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Whenham, John and Richard Wistereich. The Cambridge Companion to Monteverdi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Wilson, Blake. Music and Merchants: The Laudesi Companies of Republican Florence. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Listening List

da Bologna, Jacopo. Madrigali e Cacce. Perf. La Reverdie. Arcana, 2009.

des Prez, Josquin. Stabat Mater/Motets. Perf. La Chapelle Royale. Cond. Phillipe Herreweghe. Harmonia Mundi, 1989.

Gabrieli, Andrea. Psalmi Davidici. Perf. Capella Ducale Venetia. Cond. Livio Picotti. CPO, 2002.  

Gabrieli, Gionvaani and Heinrich Schütz. Polychoral Splendour. Perf. Cappella Murensis and Les Cornets. Noirs. Cond. Johannes Strobl. Audite, 2012.

Lengends Aurea: Laudes des Saints au Trecento Italien. Perf. La Reverdie. Arcana, 2002. 

Monteverdi, Claudio. L’Orfeo. Cond. René Jacobs. Harmonia Mundi, 1995.

Monteverdi, Claudio. Ottavo Libro dei Madrigali: Madrigali Guerrieri et Amorosi. Perf. La Venexiana. Glossa, 2005. 

Monteverdi, Claudio. Selva morale e spiritual. Perf. Cantus Cölln. Cond. Konrad Junghänel. Harmonia Mundi, 2001.

Palestrina, Giovanni Perluigi. Missa Papae Marcelli. Perf. Oxford Camerata. Cond.  Jeremy Summerly. Naxos, 1994.