Monday, April 30, 2012

How do you say goodbye in Swedish?

I think I can speak for all of us: this tour has been one of the best weeks of our lives! We've made so many new friends from the Adolf Frederiks school and the choruses from different countries, we have enjoyed singing in incredible venues, and we've been able to experience the beautiful city of Stockholm every time we've stepped outside. The students have been so friendly and have been so eager to help us and show us around their school and city! We've shared our cultures and customs, foods and we've formed friendships.

I'm so sad to leave Sweden but I know these memories are going to be with us forever. We've learned so much about the benefits of hard work and determination. That has been amazing, but to me, what has been most incredible is how we've grown so close with each other in YPC, and how we've truly become a family this week.

-Bethany, age 14

Honorary YPC Choristers

Say Cheese!!! Photos from Sweden!

Host Teachers in Sweden

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Last Night's Performance

Last night was our final performance alone as YPC. It's unbelievable to think that this tour is coming to an end, but looking back, I think that we have done a great job of representing and sharing YPC and the USA in Sweden. All of our energy really came through in our concert last night, and on the stage I could truly feel the musicianship and artistry coming from each chorister. That connection really made it a memorable performance for me.

Participating in "Let the Future Sing" has allowed me to meet other children ages 11-18 from Estonia, Hungary, Armenia, Canada, China, and of course, Sweden. It is so interesting to spend time with the other choirs and learn about how other children in the world live. Despite the language barriers and cultural differences, we have all connected in so many ways with these children from all over the world.

I will never forget everything I have learned on this trip - about music, about what it takes to put on a truly incredible performance, about Sweden, about myself, and about the world. I am so proud of all we have done here!

- Miki, age 14

In The Old City

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Technical Rehearsal Remarks...

We are preparing to go into dress rehearsal for our Saturday evening concert!

Francisco asked the choristers - "Why are you here, in Stockholm?"

The first three answers were:

"To sing."
"To inspire."

"To be inspired by others."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

High Notes From Sweden!

Today we got to spend a lot of time with the children who go to the Adolf Fredriks School.  We got to work with the fourth graders in small groups and talk to them about New York and the USA, and they shared with us about Stockholm.  After we learned about each other's cultures, we played a fun game of charades and exchanged small gifts with one another.  There are so many children in this school, and between spending time with them in their classrooms and staying with their families, we have felt so fortunate to be able to be completely immersed in the experience of what it's like to live in Sweden.  Everyone is so nice!
-Ashley, 14
YPC Choristers | Adolf Fredriks Let The Future Sing International Choral Festival
 We're about to go into our second concert!  We performed two pieces this morning as part of the morning assembly, and tonight is the Cavalcade Concert - all six invited choirs are performing.  The choirs are from Armenia, Canada, China, Estonia, Hungary - and the United States of America (us!)  I'm especially excited to perform "Run Children Run" and our step dance tonight - and then we have to prepare for more concerts that we're performing tomorrow and the day after.  So far, the tour has been really fun and amazing.  Our homestay families are making us feel so welcome, and Stockholm is a beautiful city.  It has been so cool to meet not just the children from Sweden, but the choristers from all over the world who have come together for this festival.
-Maud, 14

I came on this trip as one of the few Concert Choristers joining Cantare, and I already feel really lucky to be part of it for so many reasons - both musical and social.  One of my favorite parts has been that we have learned a lot of different countries' folk songs that we might not otherwise be exposed to, by hearing choirs from those countries sing them - and even teach them to us.  The people I've met here - both the Swedish people and the people from the other choirs from around the world - are some of the nicest people I have ever met.  The other visiting choirs are so unbelievably talented - each singer has a remarkable voice and they come together to create these stunning sounds.  It's simply inspiring.  I have been particularly fascinated by meeting and hearing the choir from China, especially after singing a song in Chinese by Bright Sheng at the Transient Glory Symposium just this past February.  I know that my new friends from around the world that I'm meeting here are going to be people I learn from and stay friends with for a very long time.
-Victoria, age 16

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Experiences from Sweden!

On Monday, I woke up and went to school for a half day.  My teacher made an announcement to the class about our trip to Sweden.  My class wished me good luck and a friend of mine asked if I could take him with me in a suitcase!  (He weighs 49 lbs...under the weight limit for international travel!)  

My parents picked me up and we went to the 92nd St Y.  My mom was so surprised about YPC's check-in stations.  She said it looked like customs when you go to foreign countries.  The bus ride was fun and really quick to Newark Airport.   I sat with my friend Dylan who was my roommate at CME in Ithaca, NY last summer. 

The airplane was late, but when we boarded the plan, it was really exciting.  I sat next my good friend Miki.  (She and I wear the same ”Lin” basketball shirts at rehearsals.)  I slept for four hours on the flight.  Francisco told us that we needed to sleep to save our voices so we can be useful in the trip, so I did my best even though it was early to sleep.  When we woke up, we were fed croissants and fruit.  I felt so excited and happy to be landing in Stockholm!  

Once we landed, we boarded a bus and arrived at the school which was really big and absolutely beautiful.  We rehearsed right away, and in the afternoon we had some free time - I had a chance to play basketball with my friend and the Swedish pupils from the school that we met. In the afternoon the host families came to pick us up.  When my family came, they made me feel comfortable right away!  My family is really cool.  They have three boys in the family - Olle age 13, Johan age 10 and Pelle age 4 - and they go to the Adolf Fredrik school.  Their mom, Helene, is really nice and everyone speaks English.  
Sweden is awesome and I am excited to see more of it and make some amazing new friends and music at this festival!-  Howell John, age 11

Photographs from Rehearsals

Elizabeth Nunez rehearsing with YPC Cantare in Sweden!


Walking From Opening Ceremony To Rehearsal

Workshop with YPC and the Choristers of Adolf Fredrik | Transient Glory Composer Derek Bermel

Opening Ceremony

YPC Rehearsing

YPC Playing Basketball with new Swedish friends


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We're Here!!!

Välkommen till Sverige (Welcome to Sweden)!

We landed safely in Stockholm, Sweden. Let the Journey Begin!  

Stay tuned for more updates from YPC choristers.