TROY students perform in Germany’s Goethe Institute

Posted: Thursday, 02 September 2010

TROY, Ala.—Two Troy University students have focused international attention on their university during a study-abroad trip to Germany.

Allison Conlan, of Leesburg, Ga., and Sonya Babbitt, of Baker, Fla., both senior music education majors, were “ambassadors” of the University, performing at the Goethe Institute in Dresden during the Institute’s international art exhibit “Here, There and Everywhere – Physical Geography/Psychological Landscape.

“The performance of our music students at the Goethe Institute was a tremendous success,” said Dr. Michael Hix, an assistant professor of voice and coordinator of the John M. Long School of Music’s Vocal and Choral Activities.

“While Troy University’s John M. Long School of Music is very well known throughout the United States, Allison Conlan and Sonya Babbitt’s performance brought further international attention to the caliber of music students at Troy. They served as wonderful musical ambassadors for Troy University,” he said.

The performances were part of a trip in which 12 Troy University students visited Germany this summer as a part of the School of Music’s study abroad program and its Music History Institute, designed to give students a unique glimpse at the musical and artistic history of Germany.

During the four-week trip, which also included stops in Berlin, Potsdam and Prague in the Czech Republic, students resided in student dorms at the Technische Universität Dresden (Dresden University of Technology) and received lectures in music history at the Dresden Goethe Institute. They also learned about music history by visiting museums dedicated to composers such as Bach, Weber, Mendelssohn, Dvorak and Smetena, Hix said.

While there, the students also attended the opening concert of the Leipzig International Bach Competition and a concert of Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet, and met Glass after his performance in Dresden.

Students also went on city tours and visited museums such as the Zwinger, the Albertinum, Hohenschönhausen, the Stasi Museum and the Jewish Museum to further learn about German history and culture including a hike through the mountains of Saxony.

Assisting Dr. Hix on the trip was Dr. Margaret Jackson, an assistant professor of musicology and voice. Dr. Jackson studied at the University of Heidelberg as a Rotary International Scholar and completed doctoral field research thanks to a grant from Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service). The organization recently named her a DAAD Research Ambassador.

Rachel Skipworth

Troy University music students attended the University’s Music History Institute this summer in Dresden, Germany. On the trip were, from left, Iris Marzinek (tour guide), Dr. Carl Vollrath, Sonya Babbitt, Allison Conlan, Adam Hottell, Katie Hayes, Lorilyn Thompson, James Griffith, Haley Capan, Tiffany Powell, Alan Roberts, Lyn Tham, Dr. Michael Hix, Clay Paramore, Dr. Meg Jackson, Kathleen Dunn. (TROY photo).