Drake Choir Tour 2012: Wednesday, May 23

Wednesday, May 23
By Jon Edgeton,  senior tenor

It feels as if we left months ago, the whole choir hopping on a set of planes to Minneapolis, then across the Atlantic to Ireland and Wales. So many experiences, so many memories have already been created. Our time here is precious to all of us, and we’re all making sure not to take it for granted.

I will preface this post by saying one thing: I love Dublin, Ireland. The hustle and bustle of a modern town with the history and character of an ancient city…hundreds of thousands of people, bumping shoulders as they walk on narrow sidewalks through a rather compact downtown area. I felt this place would be a good home away from home for the few days we were staying.

The day started off on a good note, considering we all got to sleep in after a day of hard work singing and walking around. With nothing until our rehearsal in St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 11 o’clock, everyone was able to rekindle the spark of energy we needed for the performance and a long day of sight-seeing. Needless to say, we were all overjoyed with the chance to recharge.
When we finally put on our penguin suits and the bus pulled up in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, I couldn’t help but feel a bit of déjà-vu. It wasn’t until we were standing in the beautiful space that I finally realized that I had been there before…five years ago, when my French class in high school took a trip to Europe, touring France, England, Wales, and Ireland. One of our stops was at that very cathedral, identifiable by the colorful flags and the grave of Jonathan Swift.  If anyone would have told me then that five years down the road I would be singing in that very space with 63 of my good friends, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. 

St. Patrick's Cathedral

After this initial shock of memories subsided, we began rehearsing for our afternoon concert. This performance was a lot different from our others since we were not collaborating with another choir and the space was vast (and very old).  Another difference was the informality of the venue. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is the official church of Ireland, making it a hotspot for tourists. The gift shop in the back stayed open throughout, and people were walking around us looking at the stained-glass windows and plaques.

Although this was a bit abnormal, I observed that our concert, despite the setting, was still just as inspiring and magical to the audience and the performers. People who were walking around stopped, listened, and slowed down their tourist-driven day to be a part of the experience.  The audience and the choir still felt connected as we shared our music.

Our bus tour of Dublin was next on the docket for the afternoon. Our tour guide, Dorothy, knew so much about the intriguing city, and the group was excited about walking around and showing us many great places in order to more fully experience Dublin. It was at this time when my fellow Brocal Chords and I began to scope out some good places to sing on the streets that afternoon.

We have a tradition in the Brocal Chords in which we roam, or ‘broam’, and find good places to bring in a crowd. Luckily, Dublin is such a compact and populated city that the task of finding a packed street was easy. Literally hundreds of people decided to stop and watch our impromptu performances, some generous enough to provide the group with Euros for our Brocal fund. Despite our tendency to stop the flow of traffic, and the occasional conversation with the Dublin Garda (police), we managed to sing all afternoon.

This trip has really been a surreal experience of magical music moments, friendly foreign faces, and collective companionship among the choir. I know that I have a new perspective on cultural differences and similarities, both in a musical sense and in aspects of everyday life. The trip has a lot more meaning for those of us on the trip than just traveling and singing,  I believe what we have experienced is re-forming and changing our perspectives and understanding  of each other and the world.
And to think, we still have 5 days left.

Here is the link to photos from WEDNESDAY and ADDITIONAL photos from Tuesday:
WEDNESDAY, May 23rd photos AND additional TUESDAY photos

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