Trip Start May 10, 2012
28Trip End May 27, 2012
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Some of the guys were following the schedule of the Russian girls and they were serenading at one of the restaurants for the dinner hour. We wandered over there and they were still performing. The group sings a nice variety of music and they were having a lot of fun at the encouragement of their new found American peers. Barbershoppers are a great audience to sing for and they were eating up the attention. They tried to leave but we encouraged them to come back and sing again. They finally headed towards their jackets and left the building. The boys ran out to get them so we could sing for them. Antique Gold sang a couple of numbers and those of us there formed a chorus and sang one or two
Some of us had decided we wanted to attend the show at the Vassa Churcb so off we went. Ira and I went together and after we paid we really searched for a seat where you could see the performers. We ended up in the balcony, Ira sat on the organ seat and I squeezed into a great spot next to a photographer. The first group was Vocal Ensemble Cantatrix from the Netherlands. They were a pretty formal group of about 30 singers. They sang mostly classical music with the variety by splitting their men and women into individual choruses on specific numbers. They were clean and precise and they made beautiful music. I watched a mother that sat right around the corner from me with her 2 children. Her son was a about 12 years old and obviously mentally challenged. Her daughter was a precocious little blonde about 3 years old. Both her children sat through the 2hr. concert remarkably well. I got a chance to say hello to her afterwards and I told her how good her children were to sit through the program. Cantatrix concluded with 2 American spirituals, Witness and Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho (same arrangement we did in Hymns of Thanksgiving)
The last number by Cantatrix was called Best of Bach or something like that. The divided into 6 mixed ensembles and spread out in the sanctuary, 3 up and 3 down. Their performance of this song created and experience that I had never witnessed before. The song has multiple ensembles singing at the same time with very tight harmonies and a lot of dissonance. The acoustics in the building allowed the chords to linger and mix. It was more than stereo in the round and hard to describe. I waited and waited for the dissonance to resolve and it just continued buzzing ringing in my ears. It seemed every nook and cranny of the building was filled with the sound. The director asked for a pianissimo at the end and they responded. Even if you were close to one of the ensembles they just seemed to meld into the overall sound. It was a real treat.
The second part of the program was the China Broadcasting Children's Chorus from Beijing. There were 18 in the chorus including just 2 boys. They sang with very strong and confident voices like only children can do. They did lots of folk songs from different parts of China. One song was a poem written 1,300 years ago. They were all dressed in pretty white and pastel blue. You could readily tell that they are well-disciplined but you also realize that they are having a lot of fun. As with Cantatrix, they were much appreciated by their audience, who asked for and received encores. A great show!