Up Early and Lots of Singing

Trip Start May 10, 2012
Trip End May 27, 2012

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Flag of Finland  , Southern Finland,
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

All the chorus and 2 spouses were up at 4:30 this morning to catch a cab ride into the city. We made an appearance at one of the local Swedish TV stations.  Yep, Swedish TV in Finland.  There is a significant population of Swedes in Finland, as they were once part of Sweden.  The local morning news was moved outside to an open area surrounded by buildings because their studio was too small for the whole chorus.  We didn't know we were supposed to sing outside so we weren’t prepared for the cold, augmented by a nippy breeze.  After doing a sound check, we went inside and devoured some breakfast and to await the live show that happened around 8:15am.  The morning news anchors were a young man and women, handsome and very engaging.  I got a photo with them after the take was completed.  They interviewed our host leader and another barbershopper that is from Sweden.  Our total set that they broadcast was about 15 minutes long, a lot from my experience.  Afterwards we walked over to the big white cathedral on the hill.  We were able to sing 3 quiet songs in the great open room.  This is a favorite thing for barbershop singers.  That is find the entry to a big hall, big buildings or even a tile men’s room where you can sing a tag or a song and hear your reverberations.  It’s a selfish thing to do I suppose but we are usually appreciated by anyone who may be there, even some guy standing at a urinal.  Sorry!

Some guys returned to the Institute but I wanted to see what I could while we were there. I walked around with Ira for a while.  We stopped at several hotels around the train station to check pricing and availability for the 2 nights we need on either end of our St. Petersburg trip.  We covered a lot of ground, often on cobblestone sidewalk, which surprised me a little.  We went into Stockman’s Department store.  It is huge, covering an entire city block and 7stories high.  They had just about anything you could possibly want to buy in the store.  I think it compares to a Nordstrom store but with more things.  Ira finally picked out a long sleeved tee shirt with Finland printed on it in both English and Finnish.  I walked into a McDonalds to find long lives, not soft ice cream and 7.5euros for a Big Mac meal.  I walked back out.

I returned to the Institute in time to have a late lunch with Linda.  We ate fish, some sort of a vegetable ball (like a meat ball that may have had some fish in it) and a half of a stuffed pepper.  It was good.  We all boarded the bus at 3:00 to take a 45minute ride to the performance venue of the day.  We did a show at 6:00 with a men’s and a ladies chorus.    We did another show at 8:00 with another mens and ladies group.  Realtime performed on both shows.  This was the first opportunity I have had to see them perform with Joseph, their new tenor.  They did pretty much their entire set with jazz arrangements, not my favorites but very well done.  I miss Tim in the quartet but Joseph is a very competent tenor and will grow into the role even better as time goes by.  We have 4 guys on the trip that are in their 20’s.  Of course they hang together, even though some of us older guys try to sing or act younger than we are with them as often as we can.  All of us are young at heart even if we are older in body.  I had trouble staying awake as I listened to the other groups in the 8:00 show.  It was a fun evening but when we returned to the Institute about 10:00 we were really pooped and ready for bed.  It was a very long day.
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Katie on

Last Thursday the members of our choir had to be at Whitney so we could be on tv, 4:45am. It was insane. We were on Channel 2 off and on from 5am to 730pm, plugging our big fundraiser we had on Saturday. Glad we got so much attention, and that we have a connection with the tv station, and that it wasn't Larry Gebhart!

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