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Hello from Cortona!

Once again the girls and I have been sightseeing. We’ve visited a couple places that are going to be on the Society tour this October so I can give you a little preview.

A day of sightseeing at Le Celle.

One of the places we visited is Le Celle, a 13th century monastery built by St. Francis of Assisi. Le Celle is a still-functioning, Franciscan monastery right outside Cortona and within walking distance. Becky, Sofie, Michela, and Kate posed on the stone wall for me to take this picture.

What a view!

Le Celle has a connection to Assisi through its founder St. Francis. Being the birthplace of the Franciscan Order, Assisi has been closely associated with the Franciscan movement in the world, focusing on the universal message of peace and tolerance, even toward other religions or beliefs. As many of you know, I have always had deep admiration and respect for St. Francis and have depicted him in several of my works. I was very excited to make the short drive to Assisi. It was like a pilgrimage for me.

Becky, Pat, and Kate enjoying refreshments at a café in Assisi.

A couple weekends ago, the Museum hosted a fundraiser for Schola Cantorum, which literally translated means “School for Singing.” The Schola Cantorum is a group of both amateur and professional musicians in the Waynesboro area which is dedicated to preserving classical choral music. This fifty-voice choir practices at many local churches and the high school and also holds concerts at these same locations. The concerts are well attended (300-600 people) and are always given for free because the choir wants everyone to be able to attend. The choir also gives an annual scholarship to a promising young singer from Waynesboro or Augusta County who is majoring in music in college.

Kate at Le Celle.

Over 100 people turned out to make the fundraiser a highly successful event. The choir performed an opera spoof, Grasshopper Opera, which told the tragic tale of a poor, dead grasshopper. The performance was humorous, with spoofs and parodies of classical music.

During the concert season, a full orchestra must be hired and scores have to be rented. Concerts can cost upwards from $6,000.00, yet no admission is charged because fundraisers like this one help defray the costs. The evening at the Museum was so popular we are considering having it become an annual event.

St. Francis Cross

He Talks to Me
Limited Edition Print

Before I sign off, I want to share some very happy news from Mathews: the Mathews High School baseball team won the Group A Baseball State Championship for Virginia this past Saturday. Congratulations, Mathews Blue Devils!



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