Friday was a day that all of the choristers had been looking forward to for quite some time. One of the most prominent features of the European Youth Choir Festival of Basel for this year was a special focus on "Singing Boys" from around the world. YPC's Young Men division would join the all-male Knabenkantorei Basel, the Estonian National Opera Boys' Choir and the Choristers of Jesus College Cambridge, England in a headlining performance in the gorgeous Peterskirche (St. Peter's Church). Before that evening concert, however, the full complement of YPC singers gave a lunchtime concert in the Church. As in the previous days, the house was completely full and the energy from the audience was electric.
YPC sings Bridge Over Troubled Water in Basel's Peterskirche
Though May is often a very rainy month in the Basel area, we were fortunate to have beautiful blue skies for nearly all of our tour. On Friday afternoon, YPC choristers relaxed alongside singers from all of the other participating choirs for a special boat tour along the Rhine river. Nick from the Young Men's division describes this special sightseeing venture: "One part of Basel that I love most is its location. The fact that this city is located minutes away from France and Germany brings a lot of cultural exchange. For example, on a boat ride along the Rhine of Basel, we met a bunch of choirs from around Switzerland, but each one of them has a different background. One may speak French, while the other speaks German, and another one Italian! I love seeing so much diversity coming to the city, partly because it reminds me of YPC itself. We all come from such different cultures and areas of the city, yet we all share this common passion of performing (and being New Yorkers, of course!). I can't wait to see what else Basel, Switzerland has in store for us next." --Nick, 18 years old
View of the bank of the Rhine from YPC's boat cruise
Back on land, the Young Men eagerly awaited the "Singing Boys" concert. This was a special moment for YPC because it was the first time that this division had been featured by itself in a showcase performance of this type. In the end, the concert was a wonderful success, and the singers left feeling that an important milestone had been achieved. Of course, there were still many Festival performances ahead to look forward to as well!
YPC's Young Men perform Ride the Chariot, arr. W.H. Smith