USCGA Chorale Cadets Tour Italy with Song From: iCommandant / Web Journal of Admiral Thad Allen Guest Blog from Livorno, Italy by First Class Jason Veara U.S. Coast Guard Academy The 22 member Coast Guard Academy Chorale arrived in Venice, Italy March 6th for an eight day international singing tour. Since arriving we have performed at many prestigious venues. Our first concert on Sunday was at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. Located on Venice's Grand Canal, the museum is dedicated to 20th Century European Art. We were graciously welcomed and exposed to various art forms from around Europe. While in Venice we also had the opportunity to perform at the Scuola Navale Militare, a high school level prep program for the Italian Naval Academy. There, we were treated to a tour of the school and dined with students. Before performing, we gave a brief presentation about the Coast Guard, the Academy, and the opportunities that await us as Coast Guard Officers. Standing in the Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square), in the heart of Venice the cadet chorale group performed an impromptu concert. Pictured in the background are the Basillica of St. Mark, and the Palazzo Ducale. Photo by uscgapress From Venice we traveled by train to the Tuscany region of Italy where we are spending the remainder of the week. Yesterday we performed at an event arranged by the US Consulate in Florence in honor of the birthday of Florentine explorer - and the namesake of the "Americas" Amerigo Vespucci. Yesterday's event, which marked the anniversary of Vespucci's birth, precedes several celebrations that are intended to fortify relations between Florence and the Americas. Last night, we performed at the St. James Episcopal Church bringing patriotic melodies and traditional tunes to fellow Americans and English speaking natives living in Florence. Today, we will travel to the Academia Navale (the Italian Naval Academy) in Livorno, where we will spend the afternoon interacting with Italian Midshipmen in a variety of sports and activities. To end our week long adventure on a high note, we will then perform alongside the Italian Naval Academys band in an evening concert for the Italian Midshipmen and assembled dignitaries from around the region. The Cadet Chorale is a group of Cadets selected from the Cadet Glee Club. Comprised of all classes, we spent countless hours practicing and preparing to represent the Academy, the Coast Guard, and the United States during our time in Italy. We are looking forward to the rest of our time abroad and to returning home to share our many cultural and professional experiences we have been so fortunate to experience during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.