September 22, 2023

Robbyn DeSpain

VSU Students Invited to Perform in Portugal and Spain

The Valdosta State University Chamber Singers and the Trombone Ensemble will perform at the Lisbon Music Festival in Europe in May 2024. 


QR Code to Donate to VSU's Department of Music

This QR code allows anyone to donate to VSU's Department of Music to help fund the trip to Portugal and Spain next spring. 

VALDOSTA – World class experiential opportunities do not come cheap. Just ask Dr. Doug Farwell and Dr. Clell Wright from Valdosta State University’s Department of Music. Thirty students from the Valdosta State University Chamber Singers and the Trombone Ensemble will be performing in May 2024 at the Lisbon Music Festival.

“The total cost of the trip is roughly $124,000,” said Wright, director of choral activities at VSU. “Our goal is for our students to not have to pay for anything.”

The Lisbon Music Festival is an international youth choral festival that takes place between Portugal and Spain. Groups from around the world will be performing, providing VSU students a chance to experience music they’ve never heard before.

“We have students who haven’t been on a plane, much less overseas,” said Farwell, professor of trombone at VSU. “It’s such an amazing experience for them to learn about other cultures, other music, and learn by hearing multiple languages from native speakers in their own country.”

The Department of Music is fundraising to provide this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to its students.

“We’ve had at least two donors, maybe three, who have not only sponsored a student but have also said they’re going,” laughs Wright.

William Burnett is a junior education major at VSU. He says this experience will be life-changing for him and his fellow students.

“Everybody speaks a different language, but music is the one thing that everybody has in common,” said Burnett. “Everyone loves music. Getting to experience that in a different part of the world is going to be incredible.”

Burnett is a member of the VSU Chamber Singers, and so is second year graduate student Lauren Harris.  

“I am looking forward to seeing the different types of venues,” said Harris, who studies choral conducting. “Around here, we usually perform in a recital hall or church, so I am curious about all the venues, and I am excited to hear all the other groups perform. I think the cultural experience is going to be fantastic.”

The proposal to potential donors includes a packet of information with a picture of a student going on the trip and that student’s personal story.

“We want them to see a face and a name, so they feel like they are helping this person,” said Wright. “Then at the end of the year, when we do our final performance, the donors will be able to meet the student they are helping and talk to them. We want our donors to feel invested.”

Those interested in donating or getting information about individual students can reach out to Dr. Wright at 229-333-5812 or by emailing or contact Dr. Farwell at 229-333-5807 or by emailing Please see the QR code above if you would like to donate now, or you can click here.

The Department of Music at Valdosta State University and its students are thankful for your support.