The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music: Chico Community Choirs to Perform in Salzburg, Vienna and Prague this Summer


Some of Chico’s best vocalists are heading for the hills – the Alps, that is – on an 11-day tour of Prague, Salzburg and Vienna this summer that will include performances in some of Europe’s most historic spots.

More than 40 singers from three community ensembles will travel together July 1-11 in a mutigenerational touring choir directed by Susan Tevis, founder, artistic director and conductor of Children’s Choir of Chico (CCOC). The group will include middle and high school singers from CCOC’s Bel Canto, women vocalists from CCOC’s Bella Voce, as well as men and women who are members of Paradise Community Chorus, Synergism, and church choirs from St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Faith Lutheran Church and Chico New Thought Center for Spiritual Living.

“I feel inspired and challenged to help my students develop a deeper and richer understanding of the history and culture of places they have learned about and the music and composers they have performed,” says Tevis. “One of my desires is to help students grow as people and develop a more global perspective while experiencing other cultures, great composers and new singing venues.”

The three ensembles will perform both separately and together. Possible performance venues range from Prague’s Church of the Holy Saviour to the Imperial Chapel of the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. The repertoire will include classical music from a variety of countries, eras and composers, and American spirituals and Broadway show tunes when the group performs at the U.S. Embassy in Prague on July 4. 

But the trip won’t be all work. The group is also slated to enjoy an evening dinner cruise on the River Vltava, to tour a former concentration camp in Theresienstadt outside of Prague, to visit Mozart’s birthplace in Salzburg, and to stroll Baroque castles and the 19th century Ringstrasse of Vienna.

Founded in 2001 as a nonprofit arts organization, the Children’s Choir of Chico offers people of all ages opportunities to develop their love of music through music education and a variety of performance opportunities including festivals and tours. For more information on how to join the group, or to make a donation to help defray travel expenses, call (530) 342-2775 or contact trip coordinator Charlotte Harkness at

Mark your calendars for CCOC’s upcoming performances!

Moonlight Melodies: CCOC’s annual fundraising dinner, with auctions and dancing, will be held on Friday, February 20, at 6 p.m. in the hall at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Chico. Tickets are $60 per person.

Gala Spring Concert: CCOC’s annual gala concert will be held on Friday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church in Chico. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for seniors and children.

Summer Send-Off Concert: For those of us who won’t be joining the community choirs on their European tour, the three ensembles will collaborate for a send-off concert on Sunday, June 28, at Faith Lutheran Church in Chico. The performance begins at 2 p.m. Donations will be accepted.

Sonia Giordani-Johnston
About Sonia Giordani-Johnston

Sonia Giordani-Johnston is a freelance writer inspired by generous people who do small acts of kindness with great love. She lives in Redding with her husband, their four children, a dog and 12 chickens.

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