"We leave Friday after school," Werlin told Reminder Publications, adding that the chorus will be "performing a lot" in addition to seeing the sights.
Werlin said Lyrics has five different performances scheduled in Rome alone, including appearances during Mass at Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica and Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, followed by concerts in the same churches. The group will also be performing at churches in the cities of Praiano, Pompeii and Naples. In addition, the group will travel to the little hamlet of Bracigliano.
"It's special because many families in Springfield have roots in that town," Werlin explained. "We've made a connection with them they have a little town band [we'll be performing with] and the town is hosting a dinner in [Lyrics] honor."
She said Lyrics which rehearses with her during the school day and in student-led practices on the weekends has been preparing a blend of Italian and American music for the trip and will even be "singing the Italian national anthem with the Bracigliano town band."
She's also been giving the students some basic lessons in Italian during class to prepare them for their time in the country.
This is the third time Lyrics has traveled to Europe there was a previous trip to Italy in 2005 and one to Germany and Austria in 2007 and the first under Werlin's direction.
She said the students approached her last spring with a desire to tour again.
"We met with students and parents and talked about what their interests were and we got a lot of enthusiasm [for a trip]," Werlin said. "I presented a lot of itineraries that I thought would connect music and culture and history and language and food, and the one they chose was Italy."
She said most of the fundraising for the trip was done through singing. "The students offered singing telegrams throughout the community, which was very well received," she said. The group also received "a generous donation from [the Longmeadow] UNICO and was able to provide some scholarship funding through donations from alumni. Students worked individually to cover the remaining cost of their trip.
"I had one student who earned the entire cost of her trip working at Big Y," Werlin said.
With a full schedule of tourist stops and concerts, Werlin said she sees this trip as "an opportunity for our students to not only see important sights, but also connect with people in a more important way."
"These are the kinds of experiences that can change a person's life," she added.