Saturday, June 28, 2008

Oregon Tour Update: Day 2

After a good nights sleep and a fantastic breakfast provided by the warm and welcoming cafeteria staff, we had our very first rehearsal. It was quite exciting to work with the other groups for the first time. Each choir here brings different strengths to the group as a whole and it is very apparent during our mass rehearsals. After only a few minutes of singing it was clear that is a gift to be working so closely with the festival conductor, Bob Chilcott. His enthusiasm for music and love for the human spirit inspired all of us to work our very hardest, even though were were slightly exhausted. A highlight was working on the piece, "I Dream A World" with Peter Robb, who is not only conducting the piece, but wrote it himself. Its always enjoyable to work on a piece never performed before because you are free to interpret it however you choose until told otherwise. Additionally, Mr. Robb oozed enthusiasm and a love for music, stressing the importance of dynamics through engaging hand motions. After the invigorating rehearsal process ended for the time being, we proceeded to lunch where we had an opportunity to mingle with singers from other choirs, who we found to be very friendly and inviting.
Then, we had the opportunity to see some of the other choirs workshop with Mr. Chilcott. It was amazing to see how the other singers adapted so well to the changes suggested, and what wonderful suggestions Mr. Chilcott made. In reflection post workshop, we discussed how there are many things we can learn from the other choirs here, and how we all bring different strengths to this festival. We then segwayed into a rehearsal of our own, in which we reached an ultimate climax in our song Eternity causing Mr. TK to shed proud tears, a true feat.
After a rehearsal with a smaller group of choirs and dinner, we traveled as a group to the Pacific Lutheran Church which was the venue for the Sharing Our Songs Concert Series. The purpose of this is for each choir to have a chance to perform selections from their individual repertoire for all involved in the festival. On Thursday night, we got to hear the Oregon Festival Choir, the Academy of the Sacred Heart and Mid-Pacific Institute, the Crystal Children's Choir, and the Pacific Youth Choir, all of which were so fantastic and a real joy to see perform. We were simply exhausted at the end of the day, and returned to our dorms to get a much needed goodnight sleep.

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