Friday, May 1

Cobh and a Concert

Today was an unexpectedly busy day! We started with a wonderful breakfast (again), then had a rehearsal for an hour and a half, 10-11:30. Well, it was supposed to be over at 11:30, but Dr. Staheli asked the men to stay a bit later for a men's rehearsal with one of our pieces, then we had a meeting with Sister Hall (a secret meeting...shhh!!). She let us know that our sound was exceptional, superb. But our peformance, our presentation on stage, was not good. At all. Normally we don't really care about that (not out of choice, just our concetration is on technique and musicality), but Sister Hall let us know that the Irish judges will base a lot of their score on our performance (she knows...she's done this a lot before, being from the UK and all). She said her rating of our mock performance yesterday in City Hall (Angie mentioned it yesterday) would have received a 2/10 rating from judges. That's it. SOOO, she told us she'd take notes at tonight's concert on each one of us, and if we wished, we could go to her afterwards and she'd let us know, with complete candidness and honesty, how our individual performance was and what we could do to help the choir improve.

On that happy note, we all got ready quickly and left for Cohb, about 30 minutes east of Cork by train. Yes, we took a train, which was really cool! :) Cohb is the seaport that the Titanic left from on that ill-fated maiden voyage. It was a beautiful town! And look what we saw!!

That's the Voyager of the Seas, the Cruise ship, the exact cruise ship, we took in January! Here, in Cohb, Ireland!!! What are the chances?? Hahaha, we couldn't avoid thinking about it the entire time in Cobh, because it's this HUGE ship just sitting in the harbor. Hehe, anyways...

We mainly visited this gigantic cathedral in Cohb, St. Coleman's Cathedral. It's 210 feet long and 120 feet tall at the highest point. But that doesn't say much of anything about the grandeur of the architecture and stained-glass windows. Oh, gorgeous!

It was so cute too, cause they were having a Catholic School class made just of little girls (like 9 or 10 years old, maybe younger), all preparing for a Primary Program type thing this coming Sunday. And they sang the cutest song about Jesus and how they loved him (I think...). Either way it was way cool hearing the little girls' voices filling the HUGE cathedral while we were just sitting there. :)

Then we finished our time in Cohb with some ice cream (no fish 'n chips yet - too expensive), almost lost one of our basses, then hopped on the 3:30 train to get back to Cork. We got back to the hotel quickly (4:30 or so), picked up dinner on the way (hot sandwiches, only €6 each, and delicious!), then got ready in our tuxes and dresses, and left at 5:45 to get to the venue of our first formal concert, in St. Michael's Church in Blackrock (suburb of Cork). We rehearsed, then had our concert at 8pm. It was fabulous! I was even surprised by Dr. Staheli asking me to sing a solo I had no idea I was even on the list for. :) It went great, too. Everbody was doing their best to show expression on their faces and really tell the story they were singing about in each piece. Afterwards everybody's faces were hurting from smiling so much! Hahaha. But the concert was great. Probably one of the best we've ever had, and far better than our Bon Voyage concert last weekend, even though that was great, too. Sister Hall said our faces and our eyes were so much better, and that was what contributed the most to the improved sound. :)

Oh, and the Irish people! After the concert we talked and talked and talked with this one Irish gentleman who told us all about his life as a global manager for an American company (he never specified) based in Chicago, the "training meetings" they had during 3-day rafting trips on the Colorado River, or 4-day Safaris in Africa, about how he worked on a radio station in Cork for a few years, and all this he tied into the effect of music on people. He was a great guy. :) We talked to a woman who was all tears and handshakes, men who were all smiles and handshakes, and acknowledged many who just smiled and thanked us.

Angie and I realized how much we're going to miss giving concerts and expressing our love of music to people. We're determined to make this last tour the best we can make it and really (no no...really really) make the best of each individual concert. Cause we're never gonna give concerts in this capacity again. And it's going to be really sad. :(

So, that's our day in a nutshell. It was a fabulous, rainy-turned-sunny day here in Cork and Cohb, Ireland, and we can't wait for tomorrow. We have our competition!!!! We'll let you know how that goes! :) Love you all!!


Cathy said...

the pictures are so beautiful and congrats on the solo will you get to do it when we get to hear you?

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