“As a singer, the opportunity to lift your voice in all these holy places — it's an utter gift,” she said.
Now that the trip is imminent, Roewe said recent major changes at the Vatican will affect some of the choir's initial plans.
For instance, she said choir members had hoped for a papal audience, but the papal transition has effectively ruled that out. With Pope Benedict XVI's resignation now in effect, a new pope must be elected. Roewe also said the group had hoped to tour the Sistine Chapel, but it likely will be filled with the cardinals' conclave for the papal election, the successful completion of which is signaled by white smoke.
Despite these modifications resulting from the papal succession, Roewe and other choir members said timing is everything.
“It's still a historic moment,” Roewe said.
“Who knows, maybe we'll get to see the white smoke — it all depends on the conclave.”