July 8

I'm Alison and I hail from Seattle, WA. I graduated from MHC in 1994 with a BA in art history. I now work at a community college and am loving the vacation I'm getting from work right now!

Back to the tour--- after an exhilarating concert with the Chepstow Men's Choir at the beautiful St. Mary's Church last night, we set off for Llangollen early in the morning. Most of us were so fatigued (we didn't get back to the hotel until sometime past 11p), that the rolling motion of the bus easily lulled us to sleep.

We stopped for a brief rest in Rhayador, Wales, and I finally began to awaken.

The scenery around us during the ride was just lovely: lush, rolling hills dotted with sheep and an occasional castle.

We stopped outside Llangollen for a spot of lunch. The buses parked down the street as they were too huge to go lurching about on the barrow streets of the town. We walked our way up to the Golden Pheasant, set in an idyllic Welsh village, to eat sandwiches and drink tea.

We rolled on to Llangollen arriving around 3pm. The festival was crowded and set with the main pavilion in the center surrounded by various craft and food vendors. I sat in on one set of performance and adjudication; the judges dished out the good with the bad, reminding me that we are in a competition! I've just been happy so far to perform with this fabulous group, never mind competing.

We ate the food the festival had prepared for the competitors dinner: no mixing of hot and cold items, please. Then, we moved on to our last full rehearsal in the Town Hall. Cathy gave us her last inspirational talk after an accurate and beautiful rendition of our test piece, Fact Ut Ardeat.She compared our singing of three pieces in the competition to the three actors who acted nine parts in the "Tempest" production some of us saw back in London; we are one choir singing three very different pieces, and we should engage the audience with these differences, both overt and subtle.

Now, we are rolling towards Chester College, looking forward to some much needed rest before we compete tomorrow. According to the program, we are competing 5th in the female choir division, which begins at noon. We are also first on the program for the evening concert tomorrow slated to begin at 7:30pm. --Alison '94


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