ATLANTA -- They enter, clutching their cameras, gazing at the soaring ceilings.
"It's a beautiful church," one of them whispers.
These Stanford University students are far from home, sightseers about to see the Heart of the Immaculate Conception's church. Moments later, the students are meeting the members of Immaculate Conception's Homeward Choir, who are homeless.
Members of the Stanford Talisman, that university's students singers, say they came across the Homeward Choir doing an online search and knew they wanted to work with them, although one of the students admitted, "The situation they're in is one that I don't think we can relate to, personally."
There is an ocean between their current circumstances and their backgrounds. Choir director Donal Noonan says they're "two worlds that would never meet, two worlds that are taking very different journeys in life."
What they have in common is music. The students perform for the choir. The choir performs for the students. And they sing, together, their voices blending to one.
At some point, you can no longer tell who is homeless, and who is a student at one the nation's elite universities. Music is the great equalizer.
The Talisman perform around the world, but they say today was one of the most meaningful days they've had -- with men for whom music is the only escape from their reality.
"The voice is an instrument but it's also something that can't be taken from you. It's physical. It's innate," a Stanford student said.