Jaclyn of the altos here! Okay guys, being a member of the PSU Chamber Choir doesn't suck. Today after breakfast, I met up with a group of lovelies including our fearless leader, Ethan, to explore the beach. After enjoying a glass of Txakoli, which the Basque refer to as "breakfast wine", we headed out. The beach was beautiful and the water warm. The waves were some of the biggest and most beautiful I've ever seen.
We found a lovely place to stop and enjoy more wine and some delicious desserts. The cuisine here is absolutely fantastic, and I have yet to have a bad meal (hopefully it will stay that way!). Some of us were really tired today:
Now we are outside of our hotel enjoying a glass of wine (today was a free day, so obviously WINE!) and enjoying the company of our chamber choir family. I'll leave you with some pictures, since they can convey so much more than my words can.
Kaixo! That's "hello" in Basque. It's Camden here again letting you know about the rest of our initial traveling.
Our flight to Madrid went smoothly. After seeing nothing but the Atlantic Ocean for about 6 hours, it was nice to see land again. Once we landed, it was a no-nonsense, get-to-the-bus-so-we-can-get-to-Tolosa-before-bedtime stop in the airport.
Once on the tour bus, we started a long ride to Zarautz. on the Way we stopped at a bar and restaurant called "Alonso." this is where I completed a personal goal of mine for this trip: order a meal with out using any English. I was able to do it with 6 carefully uttered words: "Chorizo... y una Fanta... limón... gracias"
After the a few rest stops, countless windmills, and pretty little villages, we made it to our hotel just in time for dinner! The competition is providing all the meals through the hotel restaurant and dinner was not a disappointment. Since almost everyone in our choir was sleep deprived, we went to bed soon after that. Some stayed up to enjoy a little celebration in the courtyard with a live band.
To sum this up, we're all safe and sound and this trip is going to be great!
Hello! Welcome to the start of another fantastic tour in another country. My name is Camden Davis, a tenor in the choir, kicking off this trip with a blog about our travels.
Together, we embarked on a long journey from Portland to Tolosa. It starts with waking up in (or staying awake until) the wee hours of the morning for our first flight. We decided to meet at the airport at 4am to ensure we wouldn’t miss our flight, which departed at 5:50am. It was nice to see all of the excited and friendly (albeit very tired) faces even though it was long before any of us would normally arise. Despite our look, we had a goal to show Spain our musical ability and had a strong desire to do so.
Many of us fell right to sleep right after and during takeoff, including myself. Those who stayed awake or woke up in time had the privilege of seeing a gorgeous sunrise over the clouds in the horizon through the windows of our plane. We landed safely in Newark, New Jersey for a nice, relaxing, long layover. We started settling down, making Gate 80 more like home. We took advantage of this time by working on some memorization. The people in the airport seemed to enjoy our rehearsal; many pilots thanked us for the music. The last 3 hours of our layover in the Garden State was up to each of us how to spend it. Since we’re students, many of us spent this time working on homework, others explored the airport, and of course, others slept.
It looks like we’re about to board our flight to Madrid. I’m posting this now so I don’t get left behind. To be continued…
Hi all - Assistant conductor Jason here. We're for Spain in two weeks! Working very hard but having a lots of fun preparing for the Tolosa contest. We also have a concert coming up next Friday, October 17th in Lincoln performance hall at 7:30 PM! Hope you can join us. Until then, here's a teaser video of us are rocking out to an Irish Basque section of one of our competition pieces... that's not really Irish.
Welcome to the new www.psuchamberchoir.com! As you can see, we've got a new look. We've also posted the 2014-2015 season - look under Events to learn more. We'll continue bringing you updates through this blog both on events at home and on our upcoming tour to Spain for the Tolosa Choral Contest from October 24-November 2. Stay tuned!
Sorry it's a little late but here's the final results. Thanks to University Communications for posting this news on our behalf:
The Portland State Chamber Choir won the first-place in Adult Mixed Choir category at the 16th International Choral Kathaumixw on July 4.
Started in 1984, the International Choral Kathaumixw competition puts a strong focus on global partnership through music. This year's competition featured both youth and adult choirs from nine countries during the week-long competition held July 1-5 at the Powell River Academy of Music in Powell River, British Columbia, Canada.
Portland State's choir also took two second place awards in both the Contemporary Choral Music and the Folk & Cultural Traditions categories. Portland State students Joanna Meline and Saori Erickson took first place victories in their respective soloist categories as well.
"This was really a life-changing week for an amazing group of students," said PSU choir director Ethan Sperry. "There are so many phenomenal choirs singing here and it's an honor to be among them and to be counted at the top of that list."
We're very proud of how it turned out. Congratulations to St. Stanislav's Academy Youth Chorus from Slovenia for winning the Choir of the World and the Totem Pole! And a huge thank you to all of our supporters.
Greetings, faithful readers! First, let me thank you for taking this journey with us as we have travelled to Powell River, Canada. When you read this blog, we know your heart joins with us as we share our music and our lives with the people we meet along the way.
As the Kathalmixw competition continues into the week, the Chamber Choir is rallying to face more and more difficult challenges with aplomb and, more importantly, an ever-increasing sense of community and support.
Wednesday was the main category of the competition here in Powell River, and our own set consisted of:
Christus Factus Est -Anton Bruckner
The Coolin -Samuel Barber
Hallelujah -Leonard Cohen, arr. Ethan Sperry
Hello from roommates Jaclyn, Genna, and Lily!
Powell River is absolutely, exquisitely beautiful. We had our largest amount of free time today to do some exploring around the town. Half of the alto section woke up early to take an amazing run through the area surrounding the hotel, and let us tell you, while Mt Hood is stunning, it ain't nothing compared to Powell River.
Hi! Alto Emily Skeen here to report on day two of the wild Chamber Choir excursion to Canada. Yesterday was our long travel day that included hundreds of miles driving, two ferry rides, and a whole lot of coffee.
After a wonderful evening having deep discussions, playing video games, singing with kids, and being VERY well fed by our amazing home stay families in Marysville, Washington, we were back on the road. We made it to Vancouver by noon, and after a brief detour/excursion/wrong turn through the city, one shockingly rude Canadian driver, a sighting of a gray kilt-wearing, beard-having, top hat-rocking Vancouverite, and a playground/bathroom stop we made it through the surprisingly busy city to make it to the first ferry terminal by 2pm.
Then, after a game of inter-van, radio battleship we made it to the second ferry right on time, where we encountered one of our competitors, a high school choir from Slovenia. Now I know what you’re thinking, we really want that totem pole, but we had a lot of fun talking with them and are very excited to see them perform this week.
We arrived in Powell River at 8:30pm, and quickly made our way to our adorable oceanside hotel to get settled in. Surprisingly the sun had not set quite yet and we enjoyed another full hour of Canadian sunshine while we unpacked and began to explore the area. After everyone had eaten and explored to their hearts content we celebrated in true Chamber Choir fashion and, to our credit, only had to be (very politely, of course) asked to quiet down once.
It’s sunny, warm, not to mention beautiful outside today, and we’re excited for kayaking, local food, and of course the opening ceremonies! Stay tuned to hear the next chapters of our tour in wild Canadia!