Most of my trips have been choral performance tours, choral and orchestral workshops, and dissertation-related studies. Many of these have been reduced, partially-funded, and in the case of the England cathedral residencies: fully-funded. Sometimes, I've stayed with families and sometimes solo. I am very lucky indeed. I have also planned and penny-pinched for the rest :-) I always think of travel as part of the School of Life and as I like school..........and work in a university...........I need to continue to travel.........always..........wouldn't you say? :-)
1990 Germany & Austria This was a fabulous two-week, packed performance tour with the Charleston Symphony Singers Guild (Emily Remington, conductor). It was my very first trip out of the country and it completely changed my life! I had gotten my first job in high school to be able to help raise money for myself to go and my parents funded the rest as a graduation present. Some of the cities we visited and sang in included: Mannheim, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Kempten, Vienna, Salzburg (as part of the Salzburg Music Festival w/ Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy), Innsbruck, Hall im Tirol, Ulm, Friedrichshafen, Lindau, Augsburg, the amazing Wieskirche, and Munich. Some of my favorite memories are from Kempten and Ulm.
When we arrived in Kempten, I remember we were exhausted and it was late in the afternoon. I think everybody took showers and naps. When I awoke, it was evening twilight and chilly. I leaned out of our window onto the small town square below and just took a deep breath of the fresh air. As I looked out into the quiet and calm scene, a noise came from a small door on the side of the church. A little old man walked slowly across the square and took out a giant set of keys. He opened a box on the side of the stone wall and made a turn with his hand. Then, one by one, tiny hanging bulbs began to light.....slowly, until they lit up a string of lights around the square. The little man watched them, one by one, as I was watching, and when everything was lit, he closed the box and walked away. It was a beautiful, peaceful moment.
In Ulm, we were visiting the Ulm Minster, which has the tallest spire in all of Europe. It was about closing time and our choir began to sing. We performed "Holy, Holy, Holy" by Maxcine Woodbridge Posegate. It wasn't a very difficult piece, or a known pinnacle of choral literature, but the stacked chords and continuous dynamic intensity made for a moment of glory and it is one of my very favorite sacred pieces. Everyone stopped to hear us. I had never been in a place like this before and never imagined music could feel that alive in the very air we breathed. It was astounding and I was forever struck with a fever for sacred choral music written for such spaces!
2000 - Bulgaria – choral workshop, stayed to teach a week afterwards
There! So, that's all I can think of a yap about for now. Wow, now I have tons more to blog about. I think I like blogging :-) I will probably do a separate post on each one of these trips!!!!! So many terrific experiences!