Well hello everyone, I’m reporting from the wonderful city of Leipzig! Today was the first time in awhile that we hadn’t had to get on a bus and drive for awhile. Our concerts that showcase us as a choir and our repertoire are over, but we still have plenty of singing to do for the St. Thomas Church! The morning started later than usual, and we went on a tour of a Bach museum. Then it was free time until rehearsal! After a quick break to get changed, we provided music for a service in the St. Thomas Church. What an honor and privilege it was to be singing in that space. Although the trip is almost over, there are still many opportunities to make lasting impressions on both the audiences and on each other.
Having a later call time in the morning is like being given exactly what you wished for on your birthday. Extra sleep is hard to come by, especially on tour, so we all used our time wisely. After breakfast, we headed to another tour. At this leg in the race, I’m sure there are some Choralians who aren’t particularly fond of touring so much and would rather relax, but the Bach museum was both astonishing and humbling. We were led on the tour by one of the world’s most renowned Bach scholars, which in and of itself was amazing, but the different sights and objects we saw was breathtaking. Original letters and music scores handwritten by Bach are some of what we viewed. The information we received was also rather astonishing. While in Leipzig, over the course of five years, Bach wrote a new cantata to be performed on each Sunday. There are four weeks in a month and twelve months in a year, meaning Bach wrote somewhere around two-hundred and forty cantatas in five years. If that isn’t proof of his genius, then try adding on the additional musical pieces he was composing at the same time as the cantatas. It’s mind-blowing to think of Bach and how gifted, advanced and skilled he was in music. He is one of the most influential men in history, and his music, to this day, continues to conjure up inspiration and awe from listeners all over the world.
I can’t think of any better way to start off my morning than with something as amazing as the Bach museum was. After that experience, we had a chance to explore Leipzig a bit more and take in the culture and essence of Germany, so a friend and I headed straight for McDonald’s. Now I know you’re reading this and thinking I’m crazy because there are a million McDonald’s in the U.S., but if you were in Germany, you would want to go to a German McDonald’s too. I know I have kept away from the food talk, but this is too important. At McDonald’s, I ordered tiramisu! And believe it or not folks, it was delicious. I don’t know who we need to talk to, but we need to have tiramisu in U.S. McDonald’s as soon as possible.
Now that the sidetrack has been refocused, let me tell you about our first church service in the St. Thomas Church. It is such a privilege to be able to provide music in a place like the St. Thomas Church, knowing that it is where Bach had once been, sharing music just as we are. Music is what binds people together, no matter what the time, race or culture is. Music is a universal language, and is our outlet for emotion. Hearing our voices echo off of the walls of the grand church felt as though we were performing for Bach himself. I’m sure I’m doing a terrible job of explaining this feeling, but it’s really incredibly wonderful. The performances we have in the St. Thomas Church and all of the ones we’ve had in Germany will stay in my memory forever as some of the greatest musical highlights of my entire life. I hope as I get older, I have more chances to come to Germany and other renowned places where wonderful music was created and shared.
We’ve only a few days remaining in our journey, but like I’ve said before, stay tuned because it can only get better. We’ll see you all soon when we return to the U.S., but for now, bis spaeter, and keep on reading!
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.)