Back to Top

Polar Bears take over the United Kingdom one song at a time

Ohio Northern University's University Singers traveled across the United Kingdom over Spring Break in a memorable trip. (photo/Ben Ayling).

College students typically spend Spring Break traveling to warm-weather locations with friends, or relaxing at home with family. Either way, it is a stress-free week without homework, exams, or papers.

This year’s Spring Break was even more special and exciting for members of Ohio Northern University’s University Singers, when the 40-voice ensemble had a concert tour throughout the United Kingdom, with shows in Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff, and London. The group, directed by Benjamin Ayling, presented a musical program featuring sacred and secular songs covering classical music to contemporary American folk songs.

And, throughout the journey, the University Singers were accompanied by ONU President and First Lady Daniel and Chris DiBiasio.

“The love and support of the DiBiasios, Dr. Ayling, and our accompanist, Teresa Blowers, has been a tremendous inspiration to the singers,” said Ensemble President and Student Assistant Conductor Shawn Stevens. “Touring a beautiful area like the United Kingdom, singing in historic cathedrals, and making music with my colleagues has been the highlight of my collegiate experience.”

The trip started in Glasgow, Scotland, with the ONU ensemble teaming with the St. Mary’s Cathedral choir for a service of music and an afternoon concert. After the show, ensemble members had the opportunity to experience the beautiful scenery throughout Glasgow, capturing several memorable moments with their cameras.

In Manchester, the ensemble joined with Salford University’s Adelphi saxophone ensemble in a show at Manchester’s Cathedral.

The ONU students visited an ancient castle near Cardiff, Wales, and then performed at the Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral of St. David.

Then, after a week in England, the trip concluded with a double-decker bus tour of London, and visiting the famed Westminster Abbey for an evening song service. A performance at Regent Hall in London was the ensemble’s final concert of the trip.

The self-proclaimed “University Singers’ Biggest Fans,” the DiBiasios participated in every aspect of the tour, including the group’s talent night in a London pub. Who knew that President DiBiasio is a talented juggler and Chris DiBiasio is an aspiring cheerleader?

The University Singers is ONU’s premier choral ensemble, comprised of students majoring in music and a variety of other academic majors. The group tours internationally every three years, and is now planning their second national tour across the United States during the spring of 2016. 

Promoted on slideshow: 

Follow us on social media




Northern Review Story Submission Form

Interested in submitting an article for publication on the Northern Review website? Go ahead and fill out this form! Once submitted, a student editor will review your article for publication.

Northern Review Story Submission Form