On A Different Note Spider Football's Kobie Turner Takes His Talented Voice Abroad

Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Kobie Turner appeared in all 11 games last year for the Spiders , accounting for 14 tackles, including 2.5 for loss. His talents don't end on the football field though as Turner is a music major at the University of Richmond.

By Kobie Turner,

During spring break, I had the opportunity to go on tour in Europe with Schola Cantorum, a choir here at the University of Richmond. The main stops in Europe were Ljubljana and Bled in Slovenia, Medulin and Pula in Croatia, and Vicenza and Venice in Italy.

We had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in European culture, exploring the cities, castles, and lakes. The more notable places we visited were the amphitheater in Pula, Croatia, and St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy. Although these places were truly stunning, we were not in Europe for sightseeing.

During our 7-day stay in Europe, five of those nights we were performing. Our repertoire consisted of about 14-15 songs, of which we performed at least 10 at every concert. This repertoire was pulled together and rehearsed this semester leading up to the trip. We got to see all of the hard work we put in come through fruition in some of the most beautiful singing spaces. Many of the highlights of my trip were from our performances.

On one of these occasions, I had the privilege of singing a solo on “My God is a Rock” by Moses Hogan. Being able to sing a solo in Europe from the “spiritual” genre that has been dear to me since childhood is a moment I will never forget. Another highlight came on the last day, where we sang mass at Saint Mark’s Basilica. Being able to sing in such a sacred space will definitely be a highlight of my singing career. This Basilica was the birthplace of polyphony, and provided a space for some of the heroes in the choral tradition to perform their music. When we performed there, we were able to perform in the same sacred space of our musical ancestors. These, among many other highlights made this trip an unforgettable experience.

The last highlight I will mention was the most personal part of my experience in Europe. Schola Cantorum had the honor of singing at my teammate Gus Lee’s Memorial Service in February. The 2 songs we performed there, “Sure on This Shining Night” by Morten Lauridsen and “Ubi Caritas” from Maurice Durufle’s “Quatre Motets sur des themes gregoriens Op. 10” have since garnered deep meaning and importance in my life. When we took these songs abroad and performed them there, I felt as if I was taking his memory with me across the sea. In the beginning of each of our concerts, I opened my folder, looked at a picture of him, and thought of him for a moment before I sang. And every time we sang “Sure on This Shining Night”, I sang that song for him. These pieces have become an integral part of keeping his memory alive within me. These songs will always remind me of him and the life he lived.

All in all, the Schola Cantorum Spring tour was definitely one to be remembered! From the magical performances and the beautiful European landscape to the bonds that were forged through spending absurd amounts of time together while being exhausted, I would not give up this experience for the world. I don’t think there are many Division I football players, or Division I student-athletes for that matter, who have had the opportunity to partake in such an amazing experience, and I am blessed and truly favored to have had the opportunity to do so.

#OneRichmond #BestOfBothWorlds

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