Climbing castles and musical exchanges
Abby Lange

We’re back on the bus again! This is our longest drive yet with a grand total of eight hours traveling from Rottenburg to Leipzig. We spent this morning in Rottenburg in a workshop with the students from the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik, the town’s church music school. Valpo has recently entered into a study abroad exchange partnership with this school.  Emily German, a junior, is the first to participate in this new program and she is currently studying at the Hochschule. This fall, one of their students will study at Valpo. 

The workshop today was led by Dr. Cock who gave a talk on the history of American choral music. He had the Chorale sing some samples, and he also gave the Hochschule students a chance to sing with us. I thought it was a great lecture, as I haven’t ever taken a music history course, and only know some basics from what I’ve learned in Chorale.  Our time with the students and faculty of the Hochschule was wonderful.  It’s really neat to see a new study abroad option for Valpo students, especially one geared towards musicians.  International partnerships are crucial for our university if we want to be globally diverse and culturally well-rounded. I hope many students can take advantage of the Hochschule – it’s a very cool place!

This afternoon we traveled to our first schloss (castle), which we were all pretty excited about.  As we first saw it in the distance sitting grandly on top of a mountain, I heard a lot of “this can’t be real!” and “it looks like Disney!” This wasn’t the famous castle from which the Disney logo was modeled, but it was still amazing. We had to hike up a mountain (at a 30 degree grade – ugh!) but the intense cardio workout was well worth it. The Burg Hohenzollern was only a few hundred years old, relatively new for European architecture standards. It was beautiful, mostly designed in the romantic style. We took a tour and the interior was in really great shape. Much of it is still used for private quarters for the current head of the Hohenzollern family.  If the Germany democracy ever fails, he’ll be first in line to take care of the country.   The castle had spectacular views and since it was a clear day we could see about 75 kilometers in any direction.  After our time at the castle, we got on the road and we’ve driving ever since.

Now, I have to apologize for slacking on my pastry descriptions. A few days ago, I had a lovely mohnstreifen.  It was a croissant-type bread filled with chocolate…really yummy. Then yesterday I had one filled with glazed pears and chocolate… also really delicious. Today at lunch, we had an excellent apple pie, but it was served cold which was nice for the hot day.  I might sound like I’m eating everything in sight (which is only sort of true) but I figure I’m only here for two weeks so I can’t do that much damage.

And just in case you’ve ever wondered what really goes on in the Chorale tour bus, we’ve just spent the last half hour talking about TV shows and pop music from our youth.  So, with that being said, I’m signing off for now. Auf wiedersehen, folks!

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May 20: Concert - Leipzig, Lutherkirche (7:30 p.m.)
May 23: Service - Seyda (10 a.m.) and Gentha (1 p.m.)
May 24: Concert – Rottenburg am Neckar, Wallfahrtskirche Weggental (7 p.m.)
May 25: Choral Workshop – Rottenburg am Neckar (9:30 a.m.)
May 26: Concert - Bernburg, Schlosskirche (7:30 p.m.)
May 27: Concert - Köthen, St. Agnus kirche (7:30 p.m.)
May 28 - Service - Leipzig, Thomaskirche (5 p.m.)
May 29 - Cantata - Leipzig, Thomaskirche (3 p.m.)
May 30 - Service - Leipzig, Thomaskirche 10 (a.m.)