Tuesday, June 24, 2014

ISing in Notre Dame

<----View of Chartres at sunrise.

Chartres Cathedral at sunrise. ---->

<----The view of a beautiful school where the bus would drop us off and pick us up every day in Chartres.

What an emotional day (*for some of us). Up and at em at 6am in order to get to Notre Dame by 930am. Those at St Yves did not get breakfast (not a good thing on such a long day), but at least there was coffee on the bus, Yay! Thank you Rudy!

First glance of Notre Dame was spectacular. You can't help but feel a sense of awe at it's magnificence. Several of us teared up just by being there and knowing we were going to get to sing there. We were taken on a private tour around the cathedral, then down below the church (cool places no one gets to see), to change into our concert dress. In a whirlwind we were on the steps in front of the choir, which is the area between the choir stalls and the high altar. We began with Deep River and only then were we able to truly understand how vast the room was and how far our voices traveled. We continued with Stephen Galvan's very own Mass,  Missa Brevis de Harmonia (Kirk Hansen, Alicia Davenport had solos and Susan Sauter played harmonica). Salmo 150 followed the Mass, then we performed another piece O Sacrum Convivium by Antonio de Salazar, arranged by Stephen Galvan. Ave Maria by Nathaniel Dett was next with Mark Campbell as soloist. Then to finish it off we did Conversion of Saul and Ride On King Jesus with soprano soloist Alicia Davenport.

Waiting to get in. 

Getting ready for our quick tour before we perform.

Steve, Maria & Ange giving everyone their audio sets for the tour.

Listening to Ange during the tour of Notre Dame

The door to the crypt of Notre Dame, that we got to walk through to change for our performance. 

Our picnic lunch spot after our concert at Notre Dame

Mollie & Andrea (Mollie was so happy that James and Andrea finally arrived - within minutes of getting ready to perform in Notre Dame)

Notre Dame selfies - of course! Ona & Raina

High fives and good games later we headed off with Ang our tour guide for the day to have a picnic lunch with a view of Notre Dame complete with radio headsets for everyone to hear the tour. After we finished our tour of Notre Dame we headed straight to The Louvre for more guided tour (I will let everyone give their own story of this experience).

Back onto the bus we were running late to make it to Marine for our concert there. Paris traffic is terrible!!! We were 1 hour late to our concert but the people of Marine were so welcoming and accomodating we were all sad to givve them a "Drive by" concert. We then were supposed to have the most amazing sit down dinner of our whole trip in the small town of Gisors 20 minutes away from Marines, but were were running so late from traffic in Paris that we only ad literally 15 minutes to eat the delicious meal they had prepared for us before getting back on the bus to get to Chartres before Rudy had to shut the bus down for the night. We were all so sad to not only thoroughly enjoy our incredible French meal, but sad to not spend time with the lovely people that sat and waited for our concert and prepared the meal for us.

Needless to say it was a very long and emotional day, but amazing and unforgetable.

*Pick pocketers beware, we are on the lookout - you haven't won yet and you never will!

*It was awesome that during our concert in Marines, several of the audience members and choir members began to weep during O Shenandoah. It created a bond that we will never forget. One of the men, Noel, asked for me specificially to give me a hug and a kiss on my forehead and he thanked me. It was beautiful.
 <----I don't know the name of the gentleman in the white shirt, but Noel is the one in blue.

*Note: If you have any leftover Kir, don't worry Kerra will take care of it.

*A story from Dave Shearer, Bass: After the concert at Notre Dame, in the changing room in the crypt, we found we had walked away with one of Notre Dame's music stands. Sacre Bleu! It must be returned! I headed back up with our guide and was told to wait with the music stand just inside the roped off area back of the choir. While I was waiting in my tuxedo, a couple approached and started speaking to me in French. They quickly switched to English after realizing I wasn't French, and told me how much they enjoyed our concert and what a gift it was to the audience and thanked me. Yay! When they found ISing was from Oregon, they explained they were from San Diego (but they still had heavy French accents). The woman said "That first song, it was in English?" Dang!! Poor enunciation has doomed us again!! Then she continued "We wondered how it was you could sing in English without French accent." Score!! Not  only could they understand us, but they could pick out our northwest accent!! It was a fine compliment.

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