PROLOGUE: Many things have delayed this post. Bronchitis is a good start. For that I thank cold, windy, wet conditions in Spain which resulted in a great many people cooped up together (usually in the bar).
I also blame that marvelous invention known as the A380 airbus which also coops people together. I was less likely to walk away from a person sitting next to me who kept coughing than I was in our hotel bar. We were somewhere around 40,000 feet.
I know. I am just a chicken. I coulda jumped.
However, being unable to post, I have had time to think about what I wanted to write. One of my first thoughts was that we had seen a LOT of churches. My pictures (and everyone else’s) reinforced that idea.
I could think of nothing more repetitive than describing the ornamentation of each and every one of them. By the third major cathedral I had Smithsonian Syndrome and could not take in anymore! I certainly did not what that to happen here.
But, I have to give a flavor of the age, grandeur and ostentation of these amazing places. Built centuries ago, some by the Moors, then rebuilt by the Christians, the history is awesome.
Here are some pictures of two of the churches where we performed in Spain. (I PROMISE more will follow!)
Here is Ronda.
ON TO CANTA AL MAR:
We sang our way around Southern Spain in preparation for the competition in Calella. We used each and every stop to improve our techniques, remember what we had forgotten and, most importantly, remember how to listen to each other.
We bonded over the ubiquitous breakfast of ham and cheese. We found a new craving for fresh vegetables as the Spanish diet is famous for its Iberian ham and potatoes. Even the Spanish tortilla is made of potato and egg. Finding a salad was a shared experience. (If you are even in Granada, find the 7Gatos restaurant. Fun and healthy) The automatic coffee machines were a common meeting ground. The occasional omelet bar was a welcome sight.
When a member of our entourage (non-singer) was injured (a broken ankle!), we came together to make sure she was cared for and that she got on and off the bus as comfortably as possible and that she got to the nearest medical facility as quickly as possible. When a singer fell and twisted an ankle, she limped to the next venue. She never missed a performance even when it meant standing for over an hour. (Having several physicians in the group certainly helped!)
Fifty three people on a bus for 6 days is bound to make someone prickly. We all made room for that to happen. We all made room to make it to be ok by the end of the day. Singing nearly every day made that possible. The evening “wine-down” was invaluable in that effort.
We struggled with luggage, smelly hotel rooms (that is a whole story in and of itself), rain, and exhaustion. But we came together and sang our hearts out on our first night in Calella.
The following is a video of the complete “Music and Light” concert. Vocal Arts was first on the program. The final choir, from Latvia, placed highest in the adult mixed choir category. We earned a silver diploma in that competition.
Watch at your leisure, the video is long. But do watch. Each of these groups won awards. ( here is the You Tube link– https://youtu.be/SyqMMq7z7Sk –the other does not work for some)