Sunday, July 19, 2009

Concordia Community Choir - Vienna 2009

Lord Jesus You Shall Be My Song

It has been my joy to be the chaplain for the choir on this great trip. To see every performance through the lens of a camera or video camera has led me to appreciate so much of what makes this group special. To hear the choir grow in skill with each performance was a pleasure, as was getting to know so many people with whom we have shared a common experience. The rather late inclusion of the hymn: "Lord Jesus You Shall Be My Song as I Journey" was fortunate for in the words of the hymn are captured the essence of what was both a pilgrimage to the place were Haydn lived, worked and died as well as a pilgrimage to sing the praises of God in old and special houses of worship. It was my honor to share devotional times with the choir and to be there, in the Dom in Salzburg, as well as all the other churches, to hear the songs of praise reverberate in settings old and somewhat unfamiliar to familiar ones in Edmonton. Thanks to my collegue Joy with whom I work each day at Concordia in leading worship. Now we await where God will lead our choir to go and sing next. Garry Dombrosky, Chaplain, Concordia University College of Alberta
Sola Deo Gloria
. Exit sign...

Last Day in Innsbruck and Munich - July 15

The buses were loaded at 8:30 and then we were free to go shopping and walking around town until 12:45 when we left Innsbruck. Some hearty souls went up the mountain, others just relaxed and shopped. Shoes have been a common purchase. Bus one won the contest with 22 pairs purchased compared to 11 on Bus 2. Andy’s German word for the day is: “herz schmerz “ or heartache which describes how we will feel to leave behind such a beautiful country and experience. It started to rain just before we left. Just out of the city we stopped at the Swarovski Crystal Museum and factory where some went on a tour of the crystal museum while others just shopped at the large retail area. Back on the bus in the rain to Munich. .
In the evening we gathered at the hotel for our final meal together. Songs were sung–a very special thank you song by Joy. We officially said good bye to our friends Pascal and Andreas. Andreas was thanked for his teachings in German when Bus two spoke: Du bist ein flugzeug--proclaiming our skill with the German language. We had a great time and it was sad to end such a special time together. With a prayer for safety we ended our evening. Everyone is going their own way but 41 were up at the crack of dawn to board flights to Edmonton. The flight home was long and tiring but we arrived on time, with all our luggage, to waiting families.

Our Thanks to Joy

Shubert is my hero....

Reception in Mirabelle Palace by city representative

We are fortunate to have such a great conductor and friend in Joy Berg. She led us through the trip(and for months before). She also won the title for most pairs of shoes purchased on the tour.

Music at Haydn Hall

This was our encore piece in Vienna by Edmontonian Brendon Lord.

Canadian Composers

We took every opportunity to share music from our own area. Martin Murphy's song, arranged by Trent Worthington, expresses a lot about our choir. This is from an informal time in Haydn's hall in Eisenstadt.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

In the City Square at Graz

We are a very patriotic group of Canadians. We were also the first group either Andy or Pascal had been fortunate enough to lead and they may never be the same....

Friday, July 17, 2009

It was not all just fun....

Okay...they suffered for fashion...

Even piano players get down...

Norm in the rain

Rainy friends on the boatride

Food Glorious Food

We came. We saw. We ate. We drank. Buffet Breakfasts were great. Authentic Austrian food was wonderful. Tortes, sausages(mini brats for breakfast at the Hilton). Coffee was great as well.

Andy and Pascal

Morning Dear Concordia Singers..... this is Andy speaking.

They made sure we did not get too lost and that we saw the best of Austria.
Many thanks from all of us to Andy and Pascal, our super new friends.

Trip to Innsbruck and Final Concert

Concert Day in Innsbruck

Again an early loading of our bus at 8:30 and we were able to actually leave 10 minutes early. Andy’s word for the day was " Schatz" or darling which is a very useful german word to know.

Bus one’s drivers very popular because he sells beer very cheaply out of the fridge in the front of the bus–bus 2 only has sparkling water.

We drove towards Innsbruck through the Alps which are spectacular(overused word but true). Each valley is a postcard in it’s own right. Late in the morning we arrived in Innsbruck and had some free time to explore the old city before our guided tour which took us to 4 pm. It, again, is an old city, with a rich history. Emperor Maximillians memorial church is here with it’s statues and majesty making sure, as he wished, that he not be forgotten. At 5 pm we were up the mountain above the city at a village church practising for the evening concert. It is a beautiful and old (roots of the present church go back 1000 years)

The concert went well and the congregation welcomed us after with a reception in the courtyard(at sunset with the Alps in the background). Local bread and wine plus some singing of local folksongs by the congregation. It was a great way to end our series of performances and a lasting memory of our time in Austria. Our hotel is in the center of town so tomorrow we will be able to do some walking/shopping before we board our buses for a short stop at the Swarovski crystal factory for Munich and then home.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday - Salt Mines.and Silent Night

Salzburg obviously gets its name from the mineral that made it famous- “salt”. Bus 2 word of the day: Darn - “Verflixt”. . The salt mines were started by the Celts around 2500 years ago and I n the early 1600s provided the wealth to build many of the great buildings in present say Salzburg. Entering the mine on a train we walked, slide down a slide, and road a boat across a salt pond- wearing special coveralls which made us look like a host arrayed in white. We also crossed into Germany and back into \Austria–all underground.
Next for today was to travel to the chapel of Silent Night, where once the church stood where this wonderful Christmas Carol was first sung. IT is pretty special to be able to visit such special places. In the afternoon after a time for shopping(shoes are a big item) we went to Mirabelle Palace (mid 1600's) for a reception by the Mayor. We were able to sing several pieces in the famous and amazingly beautiful marble room. Supper was in a restaurant just below the fortress(our first sourkraut) and then the evening was free --- some went to the Marionette show. Tomorrow morning we leave for Innsbruck and our last concert.

Sunday, July 12 - Salzburg

Got to sleep in this morning before we boarded the buses to take us to the Salzburg Don where we sang as part of the morning Mass. Sunday in Salzburg is quiet as the shops(except tourist) area closed. Lots of churches and bells ringing gives it a special air. The Dom zu Salzburg is a large and extremely beautiful cathedral–second, one person said–only to St. Peter’s in Rome. The choir met for a rehearsal in a special modern rehearsal hall with a wonderful piano (Boston). After rehearsal and devotions we lined up and entered the cathedral for one of the morning masses and in that great space sang 4 of our pieces. During Communion we sang: “Lord Jesus of You I will Sing as I journey” while people flowed towards the front of the church. Later in the day we learned, from our guides, that this cathedral, which has 5 pipe organs, has one organ where Mozart played and composed a lot. In such a space to sing God’s praises was an experience we will not soon forget.
After the service, a quick change and then a few hours to wander through the old part of Salzburg. In the afternoon excellent guides took us up to the fortress which overlooks Salzburg and then on a walking tour to the oldest graveyard owned by the Benedictines, the music festival hall, and ended up at the Mozart house. This is an old city by Canadian standards with one building sporting an “Established in 803". After the tour our choir went many different ways for evening events. Some went to concerts, some relaxed, a goodly group took in the Mozart Dinner Concert. In a lavish hall at the 803 A.D. restaurant, we ate a meal that would have been served to the aristocracy at the time of Mozart. In between each course we were entertained with Mozart music performed by a 5 piece string orchestra and two opera singers. A most delightful evening that started at 8 and ended at 11 pm. A quick walk back the hotel and the end to another wonderful day. Streets are very safe to walk on here and the cleanliness of the streets is something we as Canadians really notice. Sundays are great in Salzburg. PS: The organ on the right was played regularly by Mozart.
Andy’s German Word of the Day: “ausgezeichnet” - excellent.