A cultural exchange: Notre Dame’s Glee Club visits Mexico

Author: Norma Sofia Rivera Padilla

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The University of Notre Dame’s Glee Club spent ten days in Mexico as part of its first international tour since the pandemic. Twenty five members of the Glee Club visited three cities to perform concerts including Puebla, San Miguel de Allende, and Mexico City. Timothy Jacklich, a former co-president of the Glee Club who studied abroad in Puebla as an undergraduate and now lives in Mexico City, organized the visit. The tour allowed Glee Club members to sing in another country as well as practice their Spanish and learn about Mexican culture.

The Glee Club arrived at the Mexico City airport on May 25 and were met by Jacklich. From there, the group traveled to Puebla, where they gave their first concert of the tour in the Cathedral of Puebla. The next day, Lisette Monterroso, on-site coordinator for Notre Dame’s Puebla program, organized a banquet for the Glee Club where they were able to taste local dishes.

For the next part of the journey, the Glee Club traveled to San Miguel de Allende. There the choir sang classical, folk, and Irish music in the Templo de San Francisco to raise funds for the National System for Integral Family Development. After the concert, the students were able to access the rooftop of the Templo and enjoy a unique view of the town. Several students took advantage of free time to explore the city. When they arrived at the main square, Michael Hanisch, one of the next year co-presidents, happened to have his guitar and played to the delight of the people who were spending their Sunday afternoon downtown. After a while, Michael was joined by other members of the club and together sang a beautiful improvisation.

Mexico City was the last stop of the tour. In the city, the Glee Club visited the Xochimilco Canals and did something unusual. In Xochimilco, the mariachis ride boats and attach themselves to the tourists’ boats to sing traditional songs. The Glee Club surprised the mariachis when they performed for them instead. The intercultural exchange did not end there. The choir sang with two Mexican choirs and had a really special time with the members of the National Conservatory of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

The tour ended with a great concert in the most emblematic Catholic place in the city: the Basilica de Santa María Guadalupe. The concert was powerful and meaningful for the choir, who knew the history of the Lady of Guadalupe and her importance in Mexico. In that imposing venue, the Glee Club sang Franz Biebl's Ave Maria to finish their amazing tour.

Learn more about the Notre Dame Glee Club.

Nd Glee Club Mexico