July 9 -- The Competition Day

(First, from the blogmistress -- we've been WICKED busy! Not to mention without email access for days, so no postings. Sorry to our loyal friends and family! We hope to get all of the relevant updates down today. We're currently in Stratford-Upon-Avon, birthplace of Shakespeare, and the tour is winding down. See you soon! --Cynthia, '00)
It's Lee, '78 from Portland, Oregon, writing today.

It's a beautiful summer day. We walked "down the lane" to Small Hall at Chester College in England (our sleeping space for the festival) for our morning warm-up.We are sounding good... and excited.

I waited in the breakfast line this morning next to a man from Brittany. A little international mingling, but not much conversation. The real question: was he among those dancing until 1:30 last night to 80's tunes?

The bus to the festival was much too hot and it wasn't just the dresses.

At the festival, we were escorted into a locker room to wait for our turn to compete. We're going to be fifth out of six groups. Cathy was interviewed by festival personnel just before we went on, so that the presenter had plenty of things to say about us as all 65 of us took the stage.

The stage at the festival is beautiful, filled with flowers, but the lights are hot. We wait for the special bell that tells us we may begin our performance. It's over like that. I thought that we sounded great and we were all pleased with our performance, especially considering that we had never sung on the stage before the performance.

Off to another mysterious English meal after changing. The contents of my plate are a roll, a pat of butter, some lettuce, and a small whole onion, topped by a slab of cheese. The only utensil provided is a knife. Oh wait, it's a sandwich.

At our adjudication later, one judge speaks for all of them... We are disappointed with the results, it's true, since we didn't even place. However, we all agree that the experience of performing at the festival was what mattered most and that the trip was about more than that one specific performance. A judge from the US who was not on our panel told us that he thought we did wonderfully and that he was proud to be American when he heard us sing. We're grateful for that!

Later, some of us took a trip down the local canal, though not pulled by a mule named Sal (instead, a horse named Sam). The weather is still beautiful and it feels great to sit and do nothing. We can hear other choirs competing as we float past the Eisteddfod site.

Tonight is our last night singing together as we open the Choirs of the World concert. We got a great intro from the MC, telling the audience that our coach for learning Welsh was Bryn Terfel, a famous Welsh singer... from his CD. (Which earns a laugh from the audience.) The audience was packed at the evening concert and we sounded great since we were so relaxed.

All in all, it was a really great day! --Lee, '78


Post a Comment

<< Home