July 2

This blog entry is brought to you by Louise, ’70, 2nd Soprano and a proud and nostalgic veteran of the MHC Chamber Singers tour of 1969. When I’m not touring with fellow singers, I live in Piedmont, CA (across the Bay from San Francisco) with my husband Forrest (Amherst ’68), and 14-year-old daughter Kristin. I preceded my arrival in South Hadley with a mini-reunion of ‘70s classmates on Martha’s Vineyard , so I was fully into the Holyoke spirit even before my arrival.

Saturday morning we all awoke to much improved weather. After Friday night’s thunderstorm, the humidity is hardly noticeable, the temperature is ideal, and the sunny sky promises great things for our Bon Voyage concert in Abbey Chapel. We continue to rehearse, rehearse, rehearse – pieces feel like they are starting to pull together as we elicit a bright smile and an enthusiastic raised fist of triumph from Cathy.

Friday’s soloist tryouts have uncovered some incredible singers among us. Brenda ‘70, whose voice awed and inspired all of us who heard her in our youth, will sing Pergolesi's "Eja Mater," which precedes our “test” piece for the Eisteddfod in Llangollen. A trio of Jen ‘91, Suzie ‘84 and Connie ’76 will sing the soprano solo in Brahms’ "Regina Coeli;" here they are rehearsing with Cathy Saturday afternoon.

Chris ‘71, Sarah ’86 and Leslie ‘74, altos rehearsing the Brahms…

Saturday evening we performed our entire repertoire – including the United States National Anthem, and the MHC Alma Mater – before a very supportive audience (friends and relatives from the local area – and a few from farther away!) Laura ’92 sang the solo in Suo Gan, while the rest of us struggled a bit still to get through the Welsh words. It was especially exciting to have Jerry, the arranger of "The Erie Canal" and "Deep River," in the audience; he responded very enthusiastically to our performance. After the concert, the Alumnae Association sponsored a reception in our honor and then it was off to bed.

Sunday we’re off to Logan airport, and then London – the adventure continues!
--Louise, '70


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