UW-Eau Claire students make headlines on recent trip to Ireland - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UW-Eau Claire students make headlines on recent trip to Ireland


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Music, no matter your dialect it's a language we can all understand. A group of UW-Eau Claire students proved that on a recent trip and they even made headlines on a singing tour of Ireland.

It was an impromptu performance at an Irish pub.  Allison Gehring, the Vice President of the UW-Eau Claire Women's Concert Chorale, says, "We had all kind of gathered together around the pub and we held hands, that's just something fun that we do, and we just sang 'The Parting Glass'."

"It's sung often at the end of the night when people are leaving and parting ways," explains Sarah Steffen, the president of the chorale.  

An informal setting compared to the churches and universities the chorale had been singing at across the country. "You were standing right next to someone who knew the song; you were standing right next to someone who was just watching you sing that. Instead of being on a stage and far away we were with them and I think that's something that really made it a special night and a special moment," explains chorale secretary, Annie Jackson.   

Sarah says, "You would see people mouthing every single word of the song."

It's a song with strong ties to Ireland.  Sarah says, "We really wanted a piece that would have some sort of connection with the place we were going. And so, my brother is a Music Education major and he just graduated in December and he also composes. So, he arranged the piece for us to sing and dedicated it to women's concert chorale."

The performance echoed beyond the walls of the pub in Derry. Sarah says, "Instantly in the pub you see everyone pick up their phones and they start recording us."

The song was described as stunning by an Irish news and entertainment website.

"People can stop what they're talking about, stop what they're doing and just sit and enjoy a piece of music and can connect with people regardless of where they're from, what age they are, what they do for a living for that two minutes," explains Allison.   

Sarah says, "It was a really cool feeling to know that we're from a completely different place and yet we can come in here and sing this song and automatically make this connection with other people."

On Youtube the video of the girls singing in that Irish bar has over 13,000 views. To see the full song, click here.

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