Earlier this year, St. Anthony’s High School Choir from South Huntington, NY enjoyed an epic 10 day tour of Italy with Encore Tours where they performed for the Pope, dined on delicious Italian cuisine and made a lifetime of memories. Upon their return, I interviewed Group Leader Brother Joshua DiMauro for the inside scoop: Me: What was your most cultural meal? Brother Joshua: Il Frantoio in Assisi. The delicious homemade pasta with sausage, mushrooms and chef’s special cream sauce just barely outdoes the magnificent setting of the restaurant set in medieval Assisi overlooking the lush Umbrian countryside. The wait staff is typically Italian in their welcoming hospitality, their never ending portions and their positive reception to our large American chorus. All these elements embody the true spirit of the city as inspired by Saint Francis himself. Me: Do you have a funny touring story? Brother Joshua: In Terme de Colosseo, a wonderful restaurant in Rome, our entertainment included a comedic portrayal of a scene from the Barber of Seville. One of our students, who we had to remind about his ungroomed hair throughout the week, was actually chosen as the recipient of an over-dramatized haircut and shave by the actors. The skit included giant barber scissors, lather and shaving equipment. Needless to say, the students all roared with laughter, knowing that I had been correcting him all week. It was truly poetic justice! Me: What was your most memorable musical experience? Brother Joshua: Singing for the Holy Father at the Papal Audience was an electric moment that the kids have not stopped talking about. For them and for the parents, this was the ultimate honor. Coupled with this was also singing the Ash Wednesday Mass at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica. Thank you to Brother Joshua for sharing your wonderful touring stories with us. We can’t wait to start working on your next Encore tour to Italy! Stay tuned for future blogs focused on our touring groups! The post Truly Poetic: A Touring Story by St. Anthony’s High School Choir, New York appeared first on Backstage at Encore Tours.