Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wishing everyone a safe return home

The Fullerton College Concert Choir tour members have left Vienna, Austria and are returning with Air Berlin via Düsseldorf to LAX. We wish everyone a safe return home and thank the participants for the opportunity. More pictures and videos will be added to this blog over the next few weeks.

More impressions from the Fullerton College Choir Tour

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A look back: Fullerton College Choir wins second place at International Choral Competition in Austria

Choir gathering before final performance

Choir taking stage at

On the second day of the competition Fullerton College Concert Choir woke up exhilarated from their win from the night before. They quickly got ready to head to Staadsaal, Spittal's town hall, as they were scheduled to be the first group to perform the "required" pieces for the festival. Staadsaal was known to be a difficult venue since the acoustics were not as good; the small space, crowded room, and all the doors being closed "swallowed" all the sound. At 9am the choir took the stage to sing Mr. John Tebay's interpretation of the three pieces: "Exultate Deo", "Sera di Liguria", and "Ergebung".

Once again the choir gave an incredible performance, which was clearly appreciated by the crowd's lengthy applause. With all the drawbacks of the venue it did not hinder the students one bit. They were thrilled about how well they sang "Sera Di Liguria" since this piece was purposely written with many difficult traps for the musicians, such as odd rhythms, perfect unisons, and lack of conventional cords.

After performing, the choir stayed to observe the other groups' interpretations of the songs. When all the choirs were finished everyone dispersed for the afternoon. At this time the groups were able to practice and wrap-up any loose ends before performing their "choice" pieces later that evening.

At 7:30pm all the choirs came back to the castle to perform the third category of the festival, their choice songs. Fullerton College was assigned the 9th position that evening and was able to enjoy a few other choirs before performing themselves. The students thought many of the other groups had chosen some beautiful pieces and performed impressively. Once their time came up the choir gathered together to
head to the stage. The three "choice" pieces Fullerton College chose were: "Psalm 57", "O Magnum Mysterium", and "Gloria".

The choir had an excellent final performance! All three songs wowed the audience and the group received quite an intense appreciation of applause, whistles, and kind words from the audience and their competitors. After the 10th choir had performed the officials once again instructed everyone to return in approximately an hour as they discussed the performances. The second night placements were different than the first night, as the choirs were placed by their average scores from the "required" and "choice" pieces.

Around 11pm the judges were ready to announce the scores of each choir and a bit of commentary. In the same manner as the night before, the judges started by announcing the 10th place and offering commentary in German, then in English. They continued to announce 9th, 8th, 7th...and 4th place choirs. Then when the group was not announced as the 3rd place winners the suspension from the previous night returned. As the judges were about to announce the 2nd place winner the choir gathered together, all very anxious to hear whether they would make 2nd or 1st place. Fullerton College Concert Choir got 2nd place for their "required" and "choice" performances!

Fullerton College Concert Choir's average score from the two performances was 93 points! This was only two points less than the 1st place winners, the Czech Republic choir. This was quite an impressivefeat as it is typical for only the 1st place winner to score in the 90's.

Way to go Fullerton College Concert Choir!!!

Open-air singing party

Fullerton College Choir singers comment on the Spittal Competition and Incantato Performance Tour

The competition was absolutely wonderful, and I was very pleased to share our music not only to our new friends from around the world, but also to the audience in Spittal. Our hosts for this competition did a wonderful job in getting us organized for this competition, and I will miss them very much. What amazed me about this competition was the amazing performances from the choirs around the world, especially on Saturday night in which it was a tough competition. Everyone did such a great job. I was very thrilled that my choir was able put on a magnificent performance, and I couldn't be any happier to represent the USA with our incredible music. I would like to thank John Tebay, our wonderful director, for getting us prepared for this competition, and I couldn't have asked for a better director. I will enjoy the rest of this tour, but there is no doubt that the highlight of this tour will always be the competition in Spittal- Daniel Agee

So this trip was an experience of a lifetime from the sightseeing in Munich to singing in various venues as well as the competition in Spittal.  Overall this trip has been a highlight in my life so far and I hope I can be able to come back and visit. -Alexander Tupuola

Yay!!! This entire time, I have felt so blessed and lucky to be able to sing at all of these wonderful and beautiful places with such a talented group of people. Sometimes, when listening to recordings from the competition, I can't even believe that it's us singing. I am so proud of what we've been able to accomplish and thankful for what
we've been able to experience. I love the people, the music, and the beauty that surrounds us all the time! I could stay here forever, 
except that I miss my boyfriend and loved ones so much haha-Christine Li

This whole experience has been LIFE CHANGING!!! I can't even put the correct words together to express how happy this trip has made me. There are still four days left ahead for us and I'm expecting to have a wonderful time in Vienna! This wonderful experience has brought me closer to my friends and I'm so grateful to have made new connections while in Austria. I'll miss the support and enthusiasm of audiences when I return to California... I can't wait to return to Austria! I'll be leaving my heart behind so I'll need to come back soon for it! -Trinidad Cano

During the 2 days of the competition, I was able to meet people from several choirs; Germany, Indonesia, Latvia, but especially Slovenia! When I first introduced myself to the directress and choir, they thought I was being sarcastic because USA had placed 1st and Slovenia placed 7th, but I was truly thanking them for the wonderful music they shared. We quickly became the best of friends and I will deeply miss the Slovenian group :) I know I will definitely have a place to stay when I return to Europe. As for our choir, I thank you for the time we
shared,  the new friendships i've started and for the amazing Mr. Tebay. I love you all! 
-Andrew S. Medina

The past week has been the most inspiring experience of my life. Hearing so many different beautiful choirs performing pieces of their culture, as well as seeing sights that make you feel so small and ignorant as to the rest of the world outside of Fullerton has been a crazy experience that will never be forgotten. However, I truly believe that the most life changing experiences that took place this trip were the bonds that I formed with people in my own choir.  So many times we go through life trying to "stick to what we know", stripping ourselves of some of the best experiences and personalities we will ever encounter.  This past week has helped to mold bonds that I will have with people for many years to come, and memories that will inspire many bedtime stories to many future generations of Fullerton College singers-Gregory Fletcher

Waking up to a creation that I have only seen in pictures has been such a humbling and awakening experience for me. In the time that I have spent here I have discovered another extended layer of what is God's Will for my life, and the beauty that is His love in both Germany and Austria. Every church, stage, and street corner that we
have sung on has been a priceless gift that I would never give back. The relationships that have blossomed with people from around the world and within this very choir have been stories all their own, but 
those can be told another time-Maria Quintanilla

We came to Europe with the intention to change our audiences' lives; I surely didn't expect our performances and experiences to touch me so deeply... The power of music is truly incredible and overwhelming. -Josh Small

I feel so blessed and overwhelmed to have had the chance to experience the most amazing moments with my choir family! Our whole trip has been life changing and I will hold on to the time when we sang and touched
so many hearts! :) - Natalie Uranga

This trip has changed my life. I've made many new friends and grown closer to the friends I already had.
- Jeff Bley

It was such a wonderful experience to be able to share our music with so many different people from such a variety of of places. To know that we moved people and touched their lives tells me that we did exactly heat we came here to do. It has been such a great opportunity to meet and make friends with people from other countries, and become closer with my fellow fullerton college choir students. What an amazing, life changing moment that we have all gotten to share with one another. -Breanne Hansen

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Benefit concert of the Fullerton College Concert Choir to be held at parish church St..Ägid in Korneuburg, Austria on Tuesday, July 12 at 7.30pm

The Fullerton College Concert Choir will hold a benefit concert at the parish church St.Ägid in Korneuburg, Austria on Tuesday, July 12 at 7.30pm.The church of St. Aegidius, Korneuburg’s present parish church, was built between 1210 and 1212 and dedicated in 1214. The building was originally Romanesque in character with two towers but was severely damaged during the Swedish occupation of Korneuburg in 1646. As a result, a bell tower was added 1760, to be replaced during the renovation of 1902. Inside the church there is a number of interesting features and Gothic works of art as well as some ancient graves, particularly that of Ulrich and Elizabeth Pötl, parents of Simon Poetl, the richest man in Vienna.

Fullerton College Concert Choir benefit concert in Korneuburg

Incantato Impressions: Stephansdom, Vienna

Incantato Tours proudly presents the Fullerton College Concert Choir at Stephansdom, Vienna

Saint Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria, reigns as the mother church of the Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schoenberg. The cathedral’s present Romanesque and Gothic façade was commissioned by Rudolf IV and stands atop the ruins of two earlier churches. The church is located in the heart of Vienna within the Stephansplatz district. It is not only considered the most important religious structure in the capital city, but the cathedral’s multi-colored tile roofing also makes it the most recognizable. Saint Stephen’s Cathedral boasts a very important organ tradition. The sanctuary’s first organ was installed in 1334 but was unfortunately destroyed during a fire in 1945. Michael Kauffmann constructed a large electric organ in its place in 1960 which includes 125 voices, four manuals, and over 9,000 pipes, all financed by public donation. In 1991 the current choir organ was built by the Austrian firm Rieger. The new mechanical organ is comprised a more modest 56 voices and four manuals.A prominent Vienna landmark, Saint Stephen’s Cathedral is featured in many media productions including films, video games, and television shows. These include the 1949 Orson Welles film “The Third Man,” and the 2004 video game “Burnout 3.” An image of the cathedral is also depicted on the Austrian 10 cent Euro coin as well as the packaging of the popular Manner-Schnitten wafer treat. In 2008, Broadway star Sarah Brightman performed a promotional concert in Saint Stephen’s Cathedral which was recorded for television broadcast and released later in DVD form.
The Fullerton College Concert Choir will perform at this beautiful cathedral on Wednesday, July 13, at 12.45 pm.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lots to see and do for the Fullerton College Concert Choir as the group explores Vienna, Austria

Vienna is the capital of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.7 million (2.3 million within the metropolitan area, more than 25% of Austria's population), and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 10th largest city by population in the European Union. Vienna is host to many major international organizations such as the United Nations and OPEC. Vienna lies in the east of Austria and is close to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Founded around 500 BC, Vienna was originally a Celtic settlement. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 2005 an Economist Intelligence Unit study of 127 world cities ranked it first equal with Vancouver for the quality of life. This assessment was mirrored by the Mercer Survey in 2009.
Art and culture have a long tradition in Vienna, including theater, opera, classical music and fine arts. The Burgtheater is considered one of the best theaters in the German-speaking world alongside its branch, the Akademietheater. The Volkstheater Wien and the Theater in der Josefstadt also enjoy good reputations. There is also a multitude of smaller theaters, in many cases devoted to less mainstream forms of performing arts, such as modern, experimental plays or cabaret.
Vienna is also home to a number of opera houses, including the Theater an der Wien, the Staatsoper and the Volksoper, the latter being devoted to the typical Viennese operetta. Classical concerts are performed at well known venues such as the Wiener Musikverein, home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Wiener Konzerthaus. Many concert venues offer concerts aimed at tourists, featuring popular highlights of Viennese music (particularly the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Strauss).
In recent years, the Theater an der Wien has become widely known for hosting premieres of musicals, although it has recently devoted itself to the opera again. The most successful musical by far was "Elisabeth", which was later translated into several other languages and performed all over the world. The Haus der Musik ("house of music") opened in 2000.

Next stop Vienna - here are some fun facts about Austria's capital city

  • Vienna is situated on the Danube River and is the largest city and the capital of Austria. Not only that, Vienna is also the Federal province of Austria.
  • It has the 3rd highest quality of living in European Union. People from Vienna are called Viennese.
  • The major religion of the people is Christianity. The major language spoken in Vienna is German. Surprisingly the voting age in Austria is only 16 years old.
  • Vienna is the only Austrian city-state in Austria, which is a federal republic.
  • Vienna is divided into 23 districts. The city center in Vienna is a World Heritage Site.
  • Vienna is known worldwide as the city of music and is home to great music hall with excellent acoustics.
  • Vienna is the last great capital of the Nineteenth Century Ball.
  • The Museumsquartier, which is one of the largest cultural complexes in the world, is present In Vienna.
  • World famous classical composers, including Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, Schubert, and Brahms, have all lived and performed in Vienna.
  • Vienna is home to the setting of Graham Greene's novel ‘The Third Man’ that is an actual city casting melancholy and telling the story of the Cold War.
  • Vienna is considered as a city of cultural heritage. It has been home to various great artists Gustav Klimt, Sigmund Freud, Arthur Schnitzler
  • Tiergarten Schönbrunn, which is world’s oldest zoological garden,  was founded in 1752,
  • The largest emerald of the world, which is of a whopping 2860 caret, is displayed in the Imperial Treasury in Vienna.
  • The highest waterfall in Europe is in Kriml Falls, which is close by Vienna. The water falls 1,250 feet.
  • One of its only kind and one of the oldest Giant Wheel is there in Vienna, which is probably its one of the most familiar attractions. It is situated in a large wooded amusement park called as Prater. It has 15 Gondolas, which offers a scenic view of Vienna.
  • Europe’s second largest cemetery is situated in Vienna, which is called as Zentralfriedhof, it has a total size of 2.5 square kilometers/one square miles.
  • Zentralfriedhof also has over 2.5 million tombs, which is almost double than the city’s live population. It also has tombs of some of the most famous personalities of the world such as Beethoven, Brahms, Gluck, Schubert, Schoenberg, and Strauss.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Quick update from Austria: Fullerton College Choir places second in the Kunstlied Competition

Schloss Porcia is the venue for the festival
Breaking news from the 48. Internationalen Chorwettbewerbes auf Schloß Porcia also known as the International invitational Choir Competition of Palace Porcia, in Spittal Austria: Den Kustliedbewerb (Kat.A) entschied der Tschechische Chor "Coro piccolo" mit 95 Punkten vor dem Ensemble aus den USA (Fullerton College Choir) und dem Vertreter Deutschlands (Ars Antiqua aus Aschaffenburg) für sich.
And what does that mean? The singers from California, USA under the direction of John Tebay placed second after Coro Piccolo from Prague in the choral works competition and added another 900 Euros to their prize money - combined with first place in the folk song competition that the Fullerton College Concert Choir won, they are now bringing 1800 Euro home. Only two points separated the winners (95 for the Czech Republic, 92 for USA), while the difference to the competitor with the least  points awarded by the four jurors was 38 - 
Unisono from Vienna only reveiced a score of 56. 

And here are the official results from the website of the hosting Choir Singkreis Porcia:
Rang Pkt. Land Chorname
1 95,0 Tschechien Piccolo coro, Prag
2 93,0 USA Fullerton College Choir
3 88,5 Deutschland Ars Antiqua Aschaffenburg
4 81,5 Indonesien Brawijaya Univ. Student Choir, Malang
5 77,0 Litauen gem. Chor “Kamertonas”, Kaunas
6 74,0 Slowenien Akademski pevski zbor Maribor
7 72,0 Österreich ”die lautmaler” Kammerchor Perg
8 69,0 Lettland Chor “Daugava”, Daugavpils
9 67,5 Dänemark Sjølund Kammerkor
10 56,5 Österreich Unisono Chor Wien

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lots of pictures from Austria and Germany

Fullerton College Choir wins first place at International Choral Competition in Austria

Joanna Lem reports back from Austria about the 2011 Fullerton College Choir Performance Tour and has great news to share:
Yesterday was first day of the 48. Singkreis Porcia Choral Competition also known as "Fest der Stimmen" - der Internationale Chorwettbewerb", which entailed the choirs to sing three folk songs to an international jury to determine the winners among groups traveling from as far as Indonesia to the small town of Spittal an der Drau in Austria.
The competition started at 7:30pm, but the Fullerton College Concert Choir arrived early to observe the other competing groups. The singers from California under the direction of Mr. John Tebay were assigned the fifth spot among ten choirs and were scheduled to take the stage around an hour into the Chorbewerb, the official name of the compeition in Austrian German. As the Fullerton Choir member anxiously awaited their turn, they were able to listen to the performances of some of the competition. Many of the groups did very well and the Fullerton College students enjoyed listening to a diverse repertoire and they very much appreciated the other talent.
As the third choir was wrapping up, the American students assembled in preparation to take the stage for their performance. The choir's folk song selections were "Unclouded Day", "I Am Going Away", and "Way Over In Beulah Lan'". Especially the last selection, an African-American spititual had already impressed audiences in Germany and Asutria during the first few days of their Incantato Tour.
And their performance at Schloss Porcia in Austria surely lacked nothing, the Californians sang their hearts out and took the audience by storm! After the choir performed, the singers headed back to the audience to listen to the remaining five groups. Now that the pressure was off and they had given their best, the Californian students had fun listening to the other singers; especially the Indonesian group impressed Fullerton and they were fast known as the choir to beat!
Once all the groups performed their folk songs they were told to wait for an hour and a half, while the judges determined the scores. To pass the time, many choirs sang pieces they were not using in the competition for everyone to enjoy. Fullerton College was asked time and time again to perform various songs.
Finally, around 11:30pm, everyone gathered around the stage to hear the results and the comments from the judges. The judges were quite upfront with ther choir in their critic and some of the comments to the lower ranking groups seemed harsh to the students from California. And then, the winners were announced in reverse order: The judges started with the 10th place choir and kept going on to 9th, 8th, 7th...5th. Then they announced that there
would be no 4th place choir, as there was a tie for 3rd place. When Fullerton College was not announced as either of the 3rd place choirs, the group got even more anxious as the judges commented on the 3rd place choirs. After the jury had shared their thoughts on the two remaining groups the anticipation was too much; the entire audience was no
longer patiently waiting to hear if Fullerton College or the Indonesian choir would take first place. But after what seemed like an enterinity, the jury announced that the choir who would take second place was the Indonesian group; thereby giving first place to Fullerton College!!!
The Californian students were beyond thrilled; some even started crying in joy. They
were all smiling, hugging one another, and just soaking in the idea that their performance was so spectacular that they had taken first in the folk song category. This was surely the perfect way to end the second night of the Singkreis Choral Competition!
Way to go Fullerton College!!! Congrats from all of us at Incantato Tours.

Singkreis Porcia Folk Song Rankings by country:
1st USA (Fullerton College) - 91 points
2nd Indonesia - 87 points
3rd Austria (Perg) - 84 points, Czech Republic - 84 points ...TIE, no 4th place
5th Germany - 83 points
6th Lithuania - 82 points
7th Latvia - 74 points, Slovenia - 74 points ...TIE, no 8th place
9th Denmark - 67 points
10th Austria (Vienna) - 62 points

And these are the participants:
Sjölund Kammerkor, Denmark
Ars Antiqua Aschaffenburg, Germany
Brawijaya University Student Choir, Indonesia
Chor "Daugava", Daugavpils, Lettland
Gemischter Chor "Kamertonas", Kaunas, Lituania
Akademski pevski zbor Maribor, Slovenia
Piccolo coro, Prag, Czech Republic
Fullerton College Choir, USA
"die lautmaler" Kammerchor Perg, Austria
Unisono Chor Wien, Austria

The events take place at the local palace Schloss Porcia, for pictures and information, here is a link.

Schloss Porcia: 48. Internationaler Chorwettbewerb

Schloss Porcia: 48. Internationaler Chorwettbewerb
This links to a video in German about the competition

Fullerton Students say Hello and share impressions, love and special moments from their 2011 Incantato Tour to Germany and Austria

Hi Beautiful Family!! I Love you! Thank you for everything!
- Natalie
Hi Mom! i am fine. Don't worry. --Lyle

Germany. Two thumbs up.
- JX

Never in my life did I expect to be in such an amazing choir in anamazing country.

It's the trip of a life time; I couldn't think of better people to

have gone with... I love you all! -Josh

This is definitiv one the greatest experiences of my life so far thank God -Lex

This trip has me rediscovering the power of music in some of the most beautiful places in the world with people I love dearly, and I couldn't be more thankful ; ) -Alexa
What a joy it is to be blessed and be a blessing in one of the most breathtaking places I have ever layed eyes on. God is good. Miss my Family!! -Maria
Germany has been absolutely BEAUTIFUL, and it's been both exciting and humbling to sing in beautiful churches and castles that have hundreds of years of history! I miss my family and those I love sooo much, but it's a blessing to see where my family came from! - Felicia :)
I love Europe so much, I think I may pretend to lose my passport so that I won't be able to leave the country lol... Every corner I turn I'm so breathetaken, it's still unbelievable that I'm here and I'm so greatful for it :) Thank you again to everyone who helped me get here :) and Daniel, the minute i get home I'll let you play the bird game on my phone k bud! Miss ya kid. Love you Medina Family!:) See ya soon. -Andrew

Germany has been a life changing experience for me, and we're only on the fourth day of the tour. Imagines traveling a country, doing what you love most, with people who you love and admire and throw in
experiencing it all in places most people only dream of going. I feel extremely blessed to be here and I'll never forget it. I miss my friends and family but it's well worth it to be here -Bijan
I will remember this tour for the rest of my life!! -Jordan

Even though we have only been in Germany for a few days now, everything still feels surreal. I absolutely love being able to see how people here interact and how astonishingly different yet incredibly the same we all are. Everything is simply beautiful; the scenery and people. I know I will have these amazing memories with me forever.
-Molly B.

It comes as no surprise that the greatest of musicians and songs come from these rolling hills and lush mountains. This land is bleeding with serenity and inspiration. Music was never intended to be created in an over populated city. Thank you my dear Family for getting me out here! -Tyler

This Europe trip has been such a moment of growth and independence for me...I have loved every minute! The food and culture are so unique and I feel completely blessed to have this experience. It is soooo beautiful out here, what I wouldn't give to look out to my backyard and see those trees. The only reason I'm going back to the states is for the family and friends I left behind and miss so much!!!! - Breanne

This is truly a life-changing experience. To be able to create music in such beautiful, historial places and to such wonderful people is an honor and a privilege.
-Jeff Bley

The places we've been and the opportunities we've had to share our music with people has been such a priveledge and gift in itself. I'm so lucky and grateful to be here. - Christina Jerome

This wonderful land looks like pictures out of a story book; everything is so beautiful, green and vibrant! There isn't anything I can think of that is more gorgeous than the cathedrals we have had the opportunity to sing in. I look forward to returning home to purchase a bike and ride it everywhere; everyone in Germany seems to have a bike! I feel that within these short (yet exhausting) days that have passed, I have seen somewhat of a change in the person that I am... This excursion has helped me grow and help me "be better than yesterday". I am hoping that some of us will get the chance to watch a live Opera before we return home. Though I miss my mother and father, im sure they will be eager to hear of the amazing experiences that I've had here in this lavish land.
- Trinidad Cano

The moment I stepped into the first church, in Weimar, it finally hit me that we had made it! What an amazing experience to sing in some of the oldest and most beautiful cathedrals in the world. It is amazing how many lives we are touching by the music we sing. After one of the concerts a lady came up to me and said that her husband is very ill and that this was one of the first times she has been out of the house since his illness. She continued by saying that our concert totally blessed her and made her forget about what was going on at home. Experiences like this is making this trip so empowering!
-Danielle Evans

This enchanted country is full of wonderful adventures. I love it here and I never want to leave I thank God He allowed to experience such a beautiful piece of His creation. - Kameron Owens

I thank God for this wonderful opportunity to visit this beautiful country. My favorite moment in this tour would have to be when we took a tour to the Neuschwanstein castle. It's funny that the castle reminded me of the castle at Disneyland, but that was a magical experience! Salzburg is just incredible as well! Very, very beautiful! Because of this tour, there is no doubt that I will return home a completely different person, and I'd like to thank Incantato for this wonderful opportunity.

- Daniel Agee

And that's what some of the Fullerton Competition looks like

Group Picture of the Choir Directors

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fullerton College Singers in the Media

Half-time for the singers from Fullerton College - a quick look back at a magical moment

Joanna Lem, the newest member of the Incantato Tour Team reports from Spittal, Austria about the 2011 Incantato Performance Tour for the Fullerton College Concert Choir. 
The group is now half way through their European adventure! The students have had the opportunity to sing at Herz-Jesu-Kirche in Weimar, Lutherkirche of Apolda, Frauenkirche in Munich, Wieskirche
Steingaden, and even randomly throughout walking tours. Each time the singers under the direction of Mr. John Tebay have moved each audience they have sang for, whether it be the local
community, international visitors, Priests and Pastor as well as the Mayor of Weimar.
A special and unexpected highlight during their 2011 Incantato Performance Tour happened on Wednesday, July 6 as the students visited Neuschwanstein, the most famous of German King Ludwig II's
castle. Many people recognize this structure from Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" which was modeled after the original erected in the hills of Bavaria. Seeing Neuschwanstein is very special and the students thought it would be mostly to learn part of Germany's history, to see what a castle is like in real life. After realizing that Neuschwanstein features a "Singer's Hall", the members of the Fullerton College Concert Choir sure got their hopes up to sing. Given that this is a very popular and busy tourist attraction, the possibility did not seem high, however together with the help of the local tour guide, the magic moment was made possible. When the end of the castle tour approached, the choir assembled and got ready to sing. Once the singing began many of the other tour groups stopped to listen. By the end of "Psalm 57" everyone was in awe, even the students themselves. The room had wooden walls, a wooden ceiling, and a carpeted floor; they did not think the room's acoustics were conducive for their singing. But the opposite was the case. Everyone was so impressed with how they sounded in the room. The young Californians were thrilled for the chance to experience singing in a place that not many are able to. The other tourists visiting were so impressed; some took time from their tour to talk to some of the students.

Neuschwanstein is now so much more memorable because the choir had the
wonderful opportunity to sing in this magnificent castle!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Impressions from the Mayor's reception in Weimar

Warm welcome for Fullerton College Singers in Weimar

"Thank you for the most amazing concert of my life - Dankeschoen fuer das wunderbarste Konzert meines Lebens", this and other compliments were both the best welcome and reward for the singers of the Fullerton Concert Choir who performed their first international concert just a few hours after arriving in Germany. What troopers they were for singing immediately upon arrival in the musical city in the heart of Thuringia. And they sounded just as wonderful as many of the spectators remarked upon conclusion of the event. The audience at the audience at the beautiful Herz Jesu Kirche in Weimar was glad to wait for the delayed arrival of the group under the direction of Mr. John Tebay who had to drive slower than originally predicted due to bad weather conditions on the highway. Their reward was a joyous concert where the voices filled the space with choral compositions from past and present.