“Welcome to Newfoundland, m’dears”, chimed our hosts Betty and Barb. So began ten fun-filled days of music, singing, sunshine and pubs. St John’s was good to us – day after day of glorious sunshine highlighted the beautiful harbour views and the delightful, colourful saltbox houses.
Festival 500 attracted wonderful choirs, both youth and adult, from all over North America. Shared concerts were held throughout St Johns every day. Each concert featured three choirs, who would bring their favourite pieces to share and showcase their particular style. EKOSingers were particularly well received – our energy, movement and fun repertoire really got our audiences going. Conductor Paula (even with her back to the audience!) was one of our star performers! She garnered quite a following, and every day was approached many times by well-wishers and fans with compliments on her energy, verve, and groovy hairstyle.
We took advantage of daily workshops with world-class clinicians and came away with even more ideas and enthusiasm for future work. The festival finished up with an extravagant concert in the Mile One Centre on the final evening. This year’s concert, Vocal Fireworks, featured the fabulous a capella group from Belgium, Witloof Bay, and St John’s own renowned tenor, David Pomeroy. Our massed choir of 800 participating singers and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra supported the headliners as well as taking the lead in some wonderfully stirring arrangements.
Daily rehearsals in preparation for the final concert were lead by guest conductors Bob Chilcott (adult choir) and Francisco Nunez (youth choir). We loved working with our Bob – a delightful, positive task-master during rehearsal, and an inspiring leader in performance!
Other trip highlights included:
Thank you, St John’s! Cheers, m’dears!