Review of “A Season of Giving”

Story by Kat Steel, Reporter

Photo courtesy of

A Season of Giving, the Aquinas Music Department’s winter concert, was a great way to wrap up the semester. The initial plan was to host it in person with food and live performances this past spring. When COVID-19 hit, plans changed. They had to pre-record the global ambassador speeches and performances of the band and choir, and consolidate into one big movie that was live streamed on Facebook on Nov. 15. Although the pandemic put a damper on the original event, there was a backup plan. 

Barbara Groves, a student in the Music department, came up with this event back in the spring as part of her capstone project, which initially included catering of different foods inspired by different countries. This was a great way to kick off International Education Week, Nov. 16-20. This concert was also a great way to promote the study away programs with different music performances from chorus and college bands. The songs played and sung were in the style of German, Spanish, French, Italian and Irish traditions. It also brought some historical insights on different fall traditions celebrated in each country. 

With Study Away not being a big conversation due to COVID-19, it was a great opportunity for the global ambassadors, including myself, to share some experiences with the Aquinas Community. It definitely gives hope in the future when a vaccine for the virus has been found. Study Away gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new culture, step outside their comfort zone, and participate in new traditions. It also is a life changing experience that a student will be unable to experience after college. Personally, I was fortunate to have been able to study away in my dream city. The culture and people were amazing and family oriented.

I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to promote the program. I think that Barbara did an amazing job with planning this and finding a back up plan. The band, strings and choir had amazing performances and I was very fortunate to have shared my experience with the community. 

Study Away programs at Aquinas and other colleges are amazing opportunities that students dream of doing when they attend college. Although these were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that does not mean it is the end. The Season of Giving brought hope to the future to those who are still considering traveling in the future.

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