2012: Greece and Turkey

May 18, 2012

One of the privileges of being an ISM student is that every two years, there is an international study tour. This tradition, begun by director John Cook in the ’80s and continued by Margot Fassler, has taken the Institute to England, France, Scandinavia, Mexico, the Balkans, Germany, and more.

In 2012, we travelled to Greece and Turkey for two weeks. Beginning with a concert in Athens by Yale Schola Cantorum, we explored this great city, headed to Hosias Loukas and Delphi, followed by two days in Meteora/Kalambaka, and then on to Thessaloniki. The trip ended with four days in Istanbul.

Our preparations are every bit as important as the actual travel in this integrated learning experience; therefore, the Institute sponsors a host of activities toward this end, such as new courses, guest lectures, concerts, excursions to related venues in nearby Boston or New York, and a significant portion of our annual Colloquium. Without fail, students and faculty have named these trips life changing experiences, and we wish to share some of this energy and enthusiasm with you.

ISM Study Tour Video from Yale ISM on Vimeo.

You can imagine that it takes a village to put together such a complicated experience, but it’s also easy to single out a few people to thank especially: our own staff, particularly Kristen Forman and Andrea Hart; and faculty, especially Prof. Vasileios Marinis. And most especially we are grateful to our chief guide and tour architect: Fr. Stefanos Alexopoulos from Athens, the guest faculty member who introduced us to so many amazing people and places. Profound thanks are due especially to him.

Below are some personal reflections from representative music and divinity students in the ISM. They bear witness to the intellectual, aesthetic, emotional, and spiritual impact this study trip has on our community. Also, you can leaf through the Facebook tour album. Coming soon, to both Facebook and the ISM website, is a short video, and more photo albums and commentary will be linked from the ISM homepage to show in greater detail the actual educational content at the core of this extraordinary experience.

Martin D. Jean