• 2017 Concert Choir New Orleans Tour

Day 5 - Beignets, Preservation Hall + Crescent City Festival @ St. Louis Cathedral

As we prepared for this day, we also made sure to remind ourselves that this was our final full day in New Orleans and to make sure we truly took in all of the sights, smells and feels of this city.  Today was again full of many of the city's traditions and history.
First, to enhance our normal breakfast of cold cereal and fruit at the hotel, we went early in the morning to one of the most known cafe's in New Orleans, Cafe du Monde off Decatur St.  Located in the French Market, we enjoyed their signature delicacy, Beignets! We were able to watch them getting made in all that wonderful flour and hot oil, and enjoy the super treat dipped in lots of yummy powdered sugar! 

Video clip: Eating Beignets outside of Cafe du Monde!

Next was a visit to the historical Preservation Hall on St. Peter Street. A landmark dating back to the early 1800's.  Although Preservation Hall is now known famously as Jazz venue, it used to be a woman's home, and then also an art gallery.  After learning more of this history, we were treated to a private performance by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. They played a couple of traditional New Orleans Jazz tunes and let us know that the difference between Jazz and 'New Orleans' Jazz is the feeling, spirituality and energy that New Orleans infuses into the music. It's just different. We also got to join them in singing part of one of the songs -- "Down to New Orleans".

Video clip: Singing with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Before heading to our final rehearsal for the Crescent City Festival, we had the remainder of our morning to explore the city in our chaperone groups. Many of us headed into local mask shops, art galleries, gift shops and experienced the Voodoo Museum. Plus, every group got to choose the lunch meal of the day. Some of us went for oysters, others for po-boy sandwiches or gumbo.
Mid afternoon we arrived for our final rehearsal at St. Louis Cathedral. (Note: all day we were on voice rest to keep our voices fresh!) Before going inside we enjoyed a local band parading outside and bopped our heads to the live music. The Cathedral, as expected, was beautiful inside and out! We were honored to be performing in such a historic church and Mr. Brown encouraged the singers to "sing out into the crowds when performing and truly fill the place with their voices."  Our singers took such advice and had a great performance later that evening in front of a crowd of about 700+ people!  Performing Ugric Landscapes, their performance was received well by the audience.  They also did a wonderful job joining the other choirs in the festival performing the Mass pieces together that they had practiced all week.  Hard work pays off!
And what's a tour/festival without a celebration after!?  Post performance, all choir participants and chaperones boarded the Riverboat Natchez for a dinner cruise and dancing!  We ate and enjoyed our final evening by sailing up the Mississippi River and had our latest night out, ending a little past midnight.
And that's a wrap folks! Headed back to Oakland tomorrow. :) #Greattimes!
  • 2017 Concert Choir New Orleans Tour