Arrival in California!

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Here we are in beautiful California.  It has been a blur of activity, with lots of singing and experiencing new sights… and we want to bottle the weather and bring it back to New York—sunny and low 70’s.  Yesterday we started the day by walking to the Scottish Rite Center, where all of the participating choruses converged.  Robert Geary, artistic director of the Golden Gate International Children’s Youth Choral Festival, welcomed all of us and emphasized that the festival was created in 1991 not only for choruses from around the world to compete, but most importantly to sing together and make friends.  And yesterday we all made a great start.

After learning several songs that we all will be singing together at the closing ceremonies, we had a picnic lunch and got to meet each other.

Some of the choristers talked about the most interesting person they met yesterday and their memories of that first day. Here are some of their answers:

“I met Maria from Finland as we were standing in line for the opening ceremonies last night. She explained the different costumes and uniforms they were wearing—each girl wore a traditional dress from a different part of Finland, usually from where their families come from.” Miki, Concert Chorus

“During our first tutti rehearsal, where we met the other choristers for the first time, I sat next to Jakob from the Austrian choir. I ended up sitting with him during our picnic lunch, and he taught me a few German phrases. Now I can say ‘Hello, How are you’ in German!” Galen, Young Men’s Chorus

“Yesterday was our first full day in California.  Of course it wouldn’t be a real YPC tour without lots of rehearsals. We started off the day with a tutti rehearsal at the Scottish Rite Center. After meeting choristers from Estonia and right here in California and singing four songs all together, we headed to a picnic lunch. Just as we were finishing our sandwiches, a HUGE game of ‘Run, Run My Baby’ started. Members of every chorus played, and we had so much fun. I think my favorite part of the day was seeing all the choirs from around the world come together, not only to make beautiful music, but to connect and have fun too.” Laura, Concert Chorus

“At rehearsal we saw and heard many interesting choirs from so many parts of the world.  Personally, I got to meet two girls from Finland and two girls from the Piedmont California choir.  It was such a great experience to learn about the daily lives of people in the other choruses and how music became an impacting factor in their lives mentally and physically. This is such a wonderful opportunity for me.” – Scarlett, Cantare Chorus

Photos by Nancy Bloom and Christopher Hall