June 30th, 2007

australia, ocean

SLO Day 2

Buffet-style breakfast started the day when I found out that a Ugandan naturally pronounces my name properly when reading it off my badge! :) Panta seems to be the one introducing himself the most. I haven't actually talked to any of the Basque choir or the Filipino choirs yet. We had rehearsal from 10-11:30 then lunch...didn't we just eat? After lunch many of us rested, Melanie re-reading Goblet of Fire as a refresher for July as I tried to nap a bit. Then she said "Hey look what was at our door!" It was the cutest little plush spotted owl with a red envelope saying Brittahytta - Jack & Johnathon's RSVP for the party...hahaha! When we met at 1:45 to go over for our sound check I raved about the owl being so good to find me to RSVP all the way in San Luis Obispo, and Johnathon said "Yay that's the reaction we wanted!" They saw the owl at the campus store and couldn't resist. Very cute!

While waiting for our sound check we saw a video feed of the Santa Rosa choir on stage, then a little of the Filipino choir before we went into the next room. Once we got on stage we were thankful for plenty of room on the risers and the stage. We started all our pieces, which sound fabulous in their shiny new performing arts center. Dan asked "Can we chop up this hall & take it home with us?" Gary Lamprecht, in charge of the festival laughed and replied "Build your own!" We heard that we impressed many who heard us, so hopefully that's a good sign.

There was an afternoon reception, and I chatted with a couple of oeople from the host choir, finding out that on Sunday night the combined choirs get to sing Finlandia with their new pipe organ - can't wait to hear that! The disappointing bit is the folk round is so sold out they've also sold the seats for the choirs to listen to each other, so we're only going to be able to see them backstage on the video feed. The rest of our afternoon was free so after a supply run in Nathania & Kevin's van (I unexpectedly splurged on a possible new party prop! Heehee)...too long for Treo!...
australia, ocean

SLO Day 2 continued

...we rested until dinner. Since there was food at the reception too not many of us wanted much dinner, but we went for the social time, then assembled as instructed at 7pm before the host choir's concert.

We didn't find out until we were inside that all the choirs would be introduced & process across the stage behind our country's flag, just like the Olympics! We had all worn various "dressy casual" as we were told but we wished we had worn our matching choir polos at least! Oh well! Our choir is the largest here by almost double which is a big change from Wales. All the choirs sat in the front of the hall for the concert which was nice. All our flags are hanging above the stage and that pipe organ has some giant pipes probably large enough for my head! After a few other songs hey sang a welcoming song for each country, a Finnish folk song, a Filipino song which got standing & cheering from them, a Ugandan piece, to which the Ugandan choir jumped to their feet & hooted! Then not only a Basque piece but one arranged by the conductor of the Basque choir who is here, so of course they cheered for that! To welcome the 3 American choirs they sang the Moses Hogan Battle of Jericho which we sang last year, and all the choirs stood up...haha! They closed with Cindy that we sang my very first year in the Choral Project, then a little Amen encore.

We have three outfit changes tomorrow, and regardless of the careful ironing I did Wednedsay night before I put it in my garment bag, my white shirt was pretty wrinkled and I was not the only one. Funny enough it's the gay guys who brought irons not the girls! After ironing, no centralized chat area tonight, just small pockets of conversation in different dorm rooms, and most people went to bed early. I had so many naps today I can't try to sleep yet, but we do have an early morning to be completely ready by 9:15 to compete at 10am, so I'll be going to bed soon myself.

Until next time!

(LJ went down for maintenance just as I was done at midnight last night! :P )
australia, ocean

SLO Day 3

Saturday morning started very early with Melanie & Ruth cutting their 6am run short because of a grass fire covering the mountain right behind us! We kept getting ready but also packed as much as we could just on case we'd be evacuated! Thankfully the flames were moving sideways instead of down the hill toward us, but those flames were darn close with plenty of smoke!

At least the fire had us all ready in concert attire & makeup with time to spare. We hit a couple spots, centered & focused, then were moved to the wings forever while the emcee was still going. Finally we went onstage and we felt our peformance was excellent, so at the very least we did our personal best. Nice to have it over with first! We went up into the balcony to hear the other choirs through intermission. We had been told we had to be at the busses at 12:30 in our polo shirts instead and it was 11:30 and we still needed lunch too, so we missed hearing the last 3 choirs perform the compulsory round. When we got to the bus and they told us how early we were, we were disappointed, but such is life.

(to be continued...)