Student Blog: Spring Choir Tour Experiences
Day 5 - Miami: Part II
by Brianna Smith '08
Sunday, March 2nd
We woke up on Sunday morning looking forward to a long day of performances and fun. We met at the church for breakfast at nine, ate and then rehearsed before the morning service. It was a very telling space (meaning that everything we did right or wrong was very obvious) which meant that we had to be on our game more than we had been in any other space before it.
As the service was about to start we were having to add chairs to accommodate all the members of the church that were there that morning and the members of the choir. We were lucky enough to be there on the morning on which the church was also hosting a guest speaker from Cleveland who was an expert on the Middle East and the status of religion and religious factions in the area. He told us all about the global church, a message that was made only more pertinent by the presence of a speaker from Cleveland, a choir from Salisbury and family members of bass section leader Dan Ryan from Chicago. It was a truly exciting place to be.
After the service, we were greeted by members of the congregation with kind words and lots of encouragement. We were fed delicious vegetable soup by the members of the Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ and Noah's Pudding by the Turkish Community Center. We used this time to get to know the members of the congregation better and to let them get to know us better.
Once lunch was over, it was back to work. It was our lucky day it seems, because at our rehearsal before the afternoon concert we got to work with Lee Kjelson, one of the premier choral conductors in the world. He gave us his insight in to conducting and style, and helped us to understand our process and music even better.
The concert was short, but well-received. An afternoon wedding in the same space meant that we could only do parts of our concert, but we were still grateful to have the opportunity to sing for the group that was there. Dan Ryan conducted a choir in a performance for the first time ever (and did a fantastic job, too)!
When all was said and done, the morning was an eventful one, but now it was time for the beach. We loaded up our stuff onto the bus and went in search of our accommodations for the night. The Roadway Inn proved to be modern and clean, but not enough to keep anyone inside or long. Before we could even unpack our things, the beach in front of the hotel was littered with Catawba Choir students swimming, playing lacrosse and enjoying the day. Others went shopping for beach wear and souvenirs. Soon it was time for dinner. In the midst of a fair amount of hubbub, everyone found their way to a plate of good food. Following dinner, a group of students headed downtown for ice cream, shopping, and fun. It was a late night, but completely worth it, when you're in Miami for the first time and it's officially Spring Break.
But sleep came quick and fast to the choir that never stops.
And then there were four.