Lots of groups travel to Europe to take in the scenery, but one chorus from Waunakee brings a little of its culture to share, as well.
At the Jan. 24 Waunakee Rotary meeting, Susan Vergeront, Drew and Lolly Lawrence, and Paul and Cindi Dowding talked about their travels and concerts abroad with the Joyful Noise Ministry singers.
Last summer’s trip was the third, and the ecumenical choir embarked on a new experience performing as a flash mob in Greece and Italy.
Susan explained the term is used for people who perform out impromptu on the street.
Choir director Betsy Flanagan organized their first trip in 2007 to Ireland and Scotland where they traced the roots of the Presbyterian Church and performed.
“It was an amazing trip It was amazing that this group coalesced,” Susan said, adding more people – spouses and family members included – were singing rather than clapping along.
The choir told Betsy they wanted to do it again, and she said, “I’m tired. In five years.”
So in 2012, the group took another trip to Germany, performing in castles, Cathedrals, and even a German tavern.
“We said, ‘Betsy, Betsy, we have to do this again.’ And she said, ‘I’m tired. Give me five years, ’” Susan said.
So last summer, the choir embarked on another adventure with a different flash mob venue based around a cruise of the Greek isles, where, Drew said, there is the most sunshine in the world. They began in Rome, and were amazed by the history. The Coliseum was built in 70 AD, Lolly said, showing pictures o the architecture. From there they traveled to Sicily, Italy,  Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini and Athens, Greece, then back to Italy.
Some impressive sites in Sicily included the Messina Cathedral Clock Tower. Every day at noon, caroling bells play a recital of Ave Maria, and statues emerge.
They also visited Malta and showed a video of their flash mob choir sing there.
They also performed in such fashion in Rhodes. Churches are everywhere, they said. These are family churches, and exist because many soldiers braving the seas would pray and promise to build a church if they survived.
They were also impressed by the historic sites in Athens and the constant, ongoing renovation. The government has gotten involved, regulating businesses that pollute to be located far enough away from the area to prevent a risk to the ancient structures.
Naples was also eye-opening, they said, particularly the Herculaneum, a city covered by a volcano eruption and restored. It’s likely the only place where mosaics from ancient times have been kept intact.
The choir members treated the Rotary Club to a smaller flash mob performance, bringing a song to the meeting.
Other News:
-Tom Kennedy was the greeter and gave his 90 seconds of fame. He is a son of Wisconsin, he said, and went on to earn a degree in dairy science from the University of Madison. He and his wife lived away from Waunakee for 25 years and came back four years ago. He’s happy to be back in Wisconsin and says he loves Wisconsin winters.
-Speakers are lined up for meeting through the summer, with some interesting ones in store. Tell folks you know about them. This could draw new members, Todd Schmidt said.
Guests: Paul Dowding, Cindy Dowding and Lolly Lawrence, guest of Drew Lawrence.  
Visiting Rotarians: None.
Birthdays: Jan. 31, Guy Stratton; Feb. 1, George Ohlendorf.
Anniversaries: None.
Greeters: Jan. 31, Greg Garton and Randy Guttenberg; Feb. 7, Rich Harris and Travis Heiser; Feb. 14, Don Hoffman and Mick Holm.