• 2013 Ensemble Tour to Germany, Austria, Slovakia

From Graz to Bratislava - Day 11 - July 11, 2013

Once again, we arrived at the music room of the HIB school for one last rehearsal in Graz before we loaded up on the bus to head to Bratislava, Slovakia.  Bob ran a silent rehearsal.  What?  A silent choir rehearsal?  It was actually very good for the kids to run through their pieces silently, helping them to internalize their upcoming competition. They moved beautifully and you could really see their whole body feeling the music.  Very impressive. They also had an actual vocal rehearsal too.

Once rehearsal was over, the Graz choir showed up to say their final goodbyes. It was incredibly emotional as they came together, hand in hand, for one last time.  We sang our festival song, "Sing All Ye Joyful," together, chaperones too, and then "Homeward Bound," which brought many tears to eyes,  myself included.  The kids gave their Graz friends and host families long hugs, and then sadly loaded the bus, waving goodbye, knowing it won't be goodbye for long!

Once on the bus, the section leaders held sectionals, working out problematic sections in preparation for competitions the following day. The kids seemed to get a lot of work done and then a mandatory rest period was had the rest of the ride to Bratislava. 

Once we arrived, poor Heinz had to figure out a street that would get us near the front of the hotel so we could unload. With the help of Bob, they managed to find a side street and all the kids unloaded, quite excited to spend the last few nights together in a hotel. They got situated in their rooms and then had to report back to the lobby to meet our festival guide, Dominika Brol, who was assigned to our choir for the rest of our stay in Bratislava. After we met in the lobby, we were taken to a tour guide to have a guided tour of the city. The tour guide took us to many of the historical sights and buildings in Old Town Bratislava.

We then had a traditional Slovakian dinner at a local restaurant, followed by the festival opening concert, then it was pretty much lights out once we got back to the hotel so they could have their competition game faces on the next morning!!


Ryan & Carmen say goodbye to their host family
  • 2013 Ensemble Tour to Germany, Austria, Slovakia