Thursday June 30th, 1:40pm
Jonie – Everything!
Lexi – Meeting new people at PICCFEST.
Abby – Climbing the sand hill and running back down.
Claire L. – Meeting new people and the beach.
Sarah – The PICCFEST concert
Olivia P. – Making friends with people from all over the country through singing.
Maya – PICCFEST rehearsals, and scenery.
Rachel – Singing with other people and climbing to the waterfall.
Jordan – PICCFEST, and climbing the mountain.
Jonah – Dancing with my new buddy in the square and making friends at PICCFEST.
Laura – Yo-Yo Ma, scenery, and the concerts.
Avery – Scenery, sightseeing, and the boat trip.
Anna – Having fun at the Ocean, Pikes Place Market.
Laurel – Seeing the ocean for the first time.
Carson – Meeting so many friends!
Amelia – Everything!
Danica – Going to the beach.
Logan – New experiences singing, concerts, hanging with friends, and the Gala concert.
Nathan and Ben – Yo-Yo Ma, and singing with a high voice.
Giselle – Going to the beach and climbing the giant sand mountain!
Luke – Mega beat-boxing circles!
Erik – Yo-Yo Ma and making friends.
Lauren – Hiking, and the Yo-Yo Ma concert.
Sienna – The Bach festival and singing with Joe Savage.
Synneva – Everything, & singing Beatles songs with Joe Savage outside of the donut shop!
Olivia R. – Yo-Yo Ma, Powell’s, and singing!
Juliette – Seeing everything come together at the Gala concert.
Ruth – – Yo-Yo Ma and Joe Savage.
Cynthia – Going to Mt. Hood and freezing my toes off!
Cully – Risking my life walking across the cliffs at the beach!
Ellie – Singing at the Gala concert! Making new friends too!
Sammy – Meeting all of the new amazing people, and the pony game!
Jane – The life changing new friends.
Hannah – Yo-Yo Ma concert was deeply moving and singing Beatles songs with that guy!
Claire P. – Happy land song, and the beach!!!
Sterling – All of it!
These are the favorite trip moments of my fellow choir members. As for me, I think my favorite part of the trip was getting to know the people in my choir. Also the giant bookstore. It was a really great experience going on this trip, and I hope you’ve liked reading my blog posts. There were things I didn’t get to talk about, and everyone experienced the trip a little differently. I’m sure that when your loved ones get home, they will have lots and lots of stories to tell you.
Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you soon!
Monday June 27th, 7:45pm
A Great Last Day, and Lots of Sand
When I look back on the PICCFEST Gala concert yesterday, I think of a singing experience unmatched by any other. During the concert, the foremost thing on my mind was how much my feet hurt. Well, that and a hope that I wouldn’t sing at the wrong time and make a fool of myself.
It wasn’t a perfect concert, but things always go wrong when you’re preforming. Overall, I think we were brilliant. I know I felt good about it. Being at PICCFEST has expanded my range, and strengthened my voice. I met a lot of really nice people, and we even had an encore of “Bring Me Little Water Silvy”. I especially enjoyed the accompaniment during “The Golden Rule” which we premiered world wide at the concert, and I loved everything about “Joy”, which is my favorite piece. We performed in this amazing church that looked more like a fancy theater, complete with a huge gym (though we preformed in the auditorium). After the concert we merrily blew our voices singing pop songs on the bus to a pizza place, which we proceeded take over for two hours. There was more singing, beat-boxing, and a special song from the boys which they had rehearsed in secret. The pizza was excellent, and we sat outside by the river that ran past the dining area. When we finally went back to the dorms and got in bed we were tired, our voices were shot, and we were sad to be leaving tomorrow. But we’d also had a lot of fun.
This morning there were too many goodbyes. We had to leave our dorm rooms and say goodbye to friends that we would probably never see again. But the hardest goodbye was the one to our dear conductor Will, who directed the boys choir and “Wir Eilen”, our German song. All of us love Will very much, but he stayed in Oregon to see the rest of the Oregon Bach Festival. We’re not sure if he’ll ever conduct us again, but I got the sense that it was unlikely. It was hard on a lot of people to leave him in Eugene, and when half the bus went up to give him hugs Carson started crying. That was all it took to get everyone teary, some people still crying ten minutes after the bus started moving. I hadn’t known Will very well so I wasn’t one of the people crying, but I named myself “designated hug-giver” and proceeded to hug everyone for several minutes.
After that, we went to a fishing town on the coast. It smelled like fish, but there were these beautiful murals of fish and mermaids painted on a lot of buildings downtown. We went on a sea life cruise on a boat called the discovery. It was really fun to stand at the bow and feel the waves go up and down like a rollercoaster. We saw cute sea lions and a couple of whales, and used traps to pick up some crabs and look at them up close. In the gift shop, we found stuffed fish and proceeded to reenact scenes from “Finding Nemo”. After that we got ice cream, and went back on the bus.
Finally we went to this gorgeous beach. We climbed giant sand dunes and were greeted with a beautiful view of a small canyon with a river flowing through it. I wanted to take pictures, but the sand was very fine and I didn’t want it to get in the camera. I’m not sure why walking on the beach is considered romantic, because for me it was tiring, a little rainy, and I’ll probably have sand in my hair for years to come. But it was very beautiful, so I’m not sad I went. We ended our day by eating pizza at a restaurant right next to the beach. It was good, and my friends and I had a lot of fun looking at the pictures I’d taken.
We’re back at the hotel we stayed at the first night, and we’ll have one more day of adventures tomorrow before heading back on Wednesday. You can probably expect one more post from me tomorrow.
Until then, thanks for reading!
Sunday June 26th, 11:39pm
So Many Things to Talk About, So Little Time!
Tonight I’m proud to present our first guest poster! Olivia R. volunteered to talk about the market some of us went to yesterday, since I didn’t go.
Hi! On Saturday, our choir had free time and choices for what we could do during that time – swim, go to the farmer’s market, or just relax at the dorm. At first, I thought that I would spend half my time at the market and half swimming, but the market was so big and had such a variety of vendors that I decided to stay.
The first booth my group and I went to was one selling the most awesome, juicy, red strawberries EVER. It was a hard decision between that and all the other delicious looking fruits and vegetables there, but eventually we chose a pint of strawberries over the umm.. interesting looking vegetable with textured swirls. After that, we went to the other block of vendors and started exploring. Among other things, I got feather hair extensions, saw some amazing hula hooping, wandered through the stands of homemade items with my friends, read and bought humorous buttons, and eventually visited the famous Voodoo Doughnuts. It had garish pink paint and pink light lining the windows. Inside, there were even more eccentric decorations such as a giant stuffed gorilla, plush ducks (the mascot of the University of Oregon) posed on a piano, and large chandeliers. The doughnuts were better yet, with at least 30 different kinds, ranging from a standard glazed doughnut to “orangetangs” and bacon-covered ones. I chose one with white frosting and oreo pieces stuck in it. I don’t remember the name, but it was about 4 inches wide, so I ended up giving half of my delicious doughnut to Sienna. Altogether, I think going to the farmer’s market was a unique and awesome experience.
– Olivia R
Tomorrow I’ll talk about singing at a church this morning and of course the Gala Concert, but it is much too late to discuss those things right now.
Friday June 24th, 10:40pm
The Terribly Important Thing I Forgot to Mention Yesterday (Among Other Things)
It has come to my attention that in yesterday’s blog I failed to mention the concert we attended. And the concert included a cello solo by Yo Yo Ma. Proving once and for all that even Yo Yo Ma can be forgotten when I am tired.
But seriously, the concert was amazing. It was so wonderful to see someone so emotionally hooked in the music. Even when Yo Yo wasn’t playing, he would sway and close his eyes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone more invested in what they were playing. The rest of the concert was great too, though I did feel bad for the cello players on stage that weren’t Yo Yo Ma. I particularly enjoyed the percussion section for their mostly improvised use of drums, bells, and their own voices to enhance Yo Yo’s performance. My favorites were probably the French Horns, though I am a bit biased since that’s my instrument. The level of control that they and everyone else on stage had was marvelous, and something I can greatly respect.
In other news, the NYC performed our personal choir songs for the rest of the singers and conductors today at the “Sharing Our Songs” concert. We did “Jabberwoky”, “Cherokee Blessing”, and “J’entend Le Moulin”, among other things. It was fun to sing for the other choirs, and hear the things they sang as well. Our mascot Benedict even showed up to say hello!
It’s been a great couple of days. I’ve met so many new people and had some awesome singing experiences. I’ll be sad to leave here on Monday, but I’ve got two more days until then!
Thursday June 23rd, 11:00pm
Arriving at PICCFEST
Just thought I’d give you an update on the things we’ve been working on for the past two days. Or rather, the thing we’ve been working on. Here at PICCFEST, it’s all about the singing. There is lots of vocal work everyday, and we’re all starting to realize how much strain that can put on your voice. But never fear, for the cafeteria has lots of tea and honey!
Dr. Snow is directing us on all of our songs, and she’s brilliant. She is very good at helping us shape our music and turn it into something beautiful. It’s amazing to sing with so many talented voices, and every new person I meet is always nice. With choirs from California and Colorado, you sometimes encounter mini culture shock, like when a girl from San Francisco had never heard of “Culvers”. It’s little things like that that make you realize how different your life is from the lives of others, but how you can all come together to make wonderful music.
Tomorrow we’re singing our personal choir songs for the other choirs. I hope they enjoy our songs as much as we enjoy singing them!
Tuesday June 21st, 10:59pm
Singers in Seattle (And Beyond!)
As we stepped onto the plane at the airport, I was sure this was going to be an awesome trip. So far, I’ve been right. We started our journey in Seattle at the space needle. We had lots of free time to walk around the sculptures by the needle and lay on the “grass as soft as a bed”, or so Luke called it.
After our visit we walked to Zeeks Pizza where they gave you little balls of dough to play with. Needless to say Olivia P. and I soon had dough moustaches and soul patches.
The pizza was excellent, so thus filled we headed off to Pike Place market! I’d been there once before, but it’s always an amazing place to visit. Its vendors are nice and the variety of things found there is great. My favorite part was when all of us sang “Bring me Little Water Sylvie” in front of the market’s famous fish-throwing stall. It was a great experience that made me realize how fun it is to just be able to break into song. After that people around the market were calling us the “green shirts”. I was able to find the cheesecake stand I’d been to before, so that was my other favorite part of the market. After that we had a three hour drive to Portland Oregon. We ended up in a cool hotel whose twin I’d stayed at in Chicago. It was nice to sleep at the end of the day, even though we couldn’t unpack our suitcases yet.
The next day we ate at the breakfast buffet and piled onto the bus again. After a little while we ended up at the most amazing bookshop I’ve ever been in. Powell’s New and Used books doesn’t look like much from the outside, until you realize that it’s a few stories high and takes up half the city block! It felt like it went on forever, and several books were quite cheap. There was something for everyone there, and it was interesting to see what books interested different people. I ended up with “Room”, a book I’ve been meaning to pick up for a while, and a French copy of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”. We stopped at a fountain on our way to get food. There were lots of little kids splashing in the expanse of shallow water, and I’m sure we were the only people over 6 and under 30. It was strangely peaceful to walk along the rocks where water spurted out of cracks, even though kids were screaming and throwing cups of water at me. I was the last one of our group to leave, but not the only one sad to go. Finally we stopped at the world famous Portland food carts. It’s almost like the carts at Defeat of Jessie James Days, except they’re always there and they take up several blocks. I rounded up my day of French things by purchasing a Baguette sandwich with guierre and ham. Also some tea, the sugar cubes for which I took discreetly from a cart I had not purchased food from. However, the man working there saw me and did not seem to mind that I was taking half his sugar cubes.
When we arrived at the University of Oregon, I was very excited to have my own dorm. To share with Sarah, of course. Claire L. and I had arranged a “Ninja” tournament, a game we like to play on choir tour. We were surprised to discover that every other choir here also knew how to play, and seemed to play “Ninja” quite often. We received t-shirts and pencils in bags on our beds, as well as a few snacks. The festival has a very adorable mascot this year named Benedict. He’s a blue monster with horns who often seems to have a red bird on his head. You can like him on Facebook! So that’s where we’ve been so far. We’ll be starting the real work tomorrow, and I’m excited to work hard singing and meeting people from the other choirs. I or someone else will be posting tomorrow. Until then, happy singing!
Sunday June 19th, 8:30pm
I’m Louisa, part of the Northfield Youth Choirs, and over the next few days myself and several other singers will be blogging about our experiences at PICCFEST. We’re all very excited, and I hope this gives everyone a way to join us on this amazing tour.
See you soon!