Another Signature Program Sparkles at Lauralton

Dear Lauralton Community,

“Those who sing pray twice.” -- Saint Augustine

During this past week’s Easter Break in Italy and the Vatican, it was abundantly clear that Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall lives its Mercy Mission with exceptional formative experiences.  As a school leader, I am honored that our students have these incredible opportunities to deepen their understanding of our shared cultural heritage and of our School’s Catholic identity. The impressive quality of the art historians’ explication of the architecture and art of Venice, Florence, Assisi, Rome, and the Vatican distinguished the trip from so many tourism excursions. In turn, those cultural guides consistently remarked—from visiting Michelangelo’s The David to the Roman Forum—upon the strong intellect, thorough preparation, and polite conduct of our Lauralton group.

Mrs. Margaret (Margy) Sargent, known to her singing students as “Sarge,” meticulously planned this interdisciplinary overseas school trip that invited Lauralton sophomores, juniors, and seniors who study Latin, are interested in art history, or perform in the School’s celebrated choral ensembles. This trip where we traveled together as a group of fifty-nine marked Mrs. Sargent’s eighth LH student concert tour following Jamestown’s 400th, four Disney trips, and now this third Italy and Vatican tour.  On behalf of our school community and specifically those who joined this amazing trip, “Grazie, Sarge!”

We witnessed performance excellence in Venice, Florence, Rome, and Vatican City—both at the three concerts performed in historic and stunning churches and even at a Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica.  The Lauralton a cappella musical selections were challenging in their musical range and featured glorious solo work; additionally, juniors Lila Parkel and Katie Kelly carried their acoustic guitar and violin throughout our travels. How memorable to hear Lauralton girls sing Vivaldi’s work in the very church along the Grand Canal where he worshipped in Venice! 

It was a privilege to chaperone this trip along with Mrs. Sargent and three other fun-loving, safety-conscious colleagues and a group of supportive parents, grandparents, and younger sisters.  My personal gratitude to Science Department Chair Susan (Sue) Cavar, History Department Chair Courtney Dwyer, and Math Teacher Jill Waldron for making this trip such a memorable experience for each and every participant. (Punto!)

While we listened to many Italian conversations and attended a local parish in Montecatini for Easter Mass in Italian, perhaps the most popular Italian word of the nine-day journey may have been “gelato.”  We certainly enjoyed our nine-day “cuisine quest” from our first day in Milan to our departure from Rome.  Between the breathtaking scenery and the informative tours, we also found time for shopping, giggling, and deepening friendships.  Special thanks to the Lauralton families who made these experiences possible for their daughters.

I urge you to attend Lauralton’s Spring Concert this Thursday, April 20 at 7:00 pm on campus, with a choral performance in the Lauralton Chapel and an instrumental performance in the Athletic Center.

With tremendous pride,



Elizabeth Miller
President & Head of School

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