Mr. Boates at the Strauss Memorial
The Cardinal speaks to the Palm Sunday audience in the Old Market before celebrating his Mass in St. Stephen's Cathedral.
A Salon within the Vienna State Opera House. Here we tread in the footprints of Gustav Mahler, Lorin Maazel and Herbert Von Karajan. Heady stuff!
Now to bed to get to Prague.
What a long day we had! Our morning bus tour was changed to a walking tour due to the running of the Vienna Marathon and the closing of many streets in old Vienna. No matter, we had a great time walking and seeing sites such as Johann Strauss' memorial in Stadt Park, Haydn's residence and one more of Mozart's residences in Vienna. (We saw two including his birthplace in Salzburg.). Actually, this evening we even ate next to Beethoven's residence during the period that he wrote the 9th symphony. We saw the stables of the famous Lipizaner stallions and even came upon the Cardinal of the Vienna Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church as he came to the old market square and blessed the crowd this Palm Sunday. Our afternoon was spent at the Hapsburg dynasty's summer residence seeing the rooms of Empress Maria Theresa and her son, Emperor Frnaz Joseph. We are trying to be adventurous and eat and experience new things......such as Apple Strudel, HA, and variations of fine Viennese coffee.tomorrow we move on to Prague.
We finally arrived into old town Vienna. You should heard the collective gasp of awe from the students as they rolled into the platz where St. Stephen's is located. We hastily pulled the equipment out of our equipment trailer and got right to rehearsal.
The groups got the chance to rehearse in the sanctuary and actually drew quite a crowd even then! After rehearsal, we had a short time to wander local shops before we checked into our hotel, dressed and then set out to dinner and the concert. We were cited to see our concert posters up throughout town and at their box office. The concert was a big success! The cathedral staff were delighted at the quality of the music and the size of the crowd. Proceeds of the concert go to the ongoing renovation of the building.
We had a delightful ride through the Austrian countryside this morning, once again passing the town of Mondsee and the Von Trapp wedding church, on the way to Vienna. The weather was bright and sunny all day. The treat on the bus, for these past two days, has been the surprise enthusiasm for "The Sound of Music"! Many of our students joined the songs that our Tourguide, Christine, put into the CD player. Today, we passed the highway travel time by watching the music. I have relayed to our choral director, Kevin Buno, that next year's musical choice should he a cinch as so many students know the show so well. What was really neat seeng the film again is now being able to name so name landmarks within the film.
Our first full day in Salzburg took our intrepid crew to the local Salt Mine museum where we explored, via tram, boat and wooden slide the history of "white gold" or salt. This magical substance was mined as far back as the Celts in pre-Roman times in these mountains and changed society because of its food preserving elements as well as it's curative effects to human health as well. We had to don salt mine "scrubs" and go about 1km into the mountain to explore the old mine.
Then we went to Mondsee and toured the beautiful Baroque cathedral where the wedding of Maria and Captain Von Trapp was filmed for the movie "The Sound of Music" .
Finally it was time to get ready to perform. The wrinkle in all of this is that Mark Gahm, our band director, went to the hospital just after he arrived as he was really sick. They kept him through today and that prevented him from participating in our first concert. So...with a lot of great help from the Wind Ensemble members, Mr. Boates led both groups through the KonzertRotunde in Bad Reichenhall. The students were champions all and the concert was well-received by approximately 100+ attendees. We were all excited to get this first performance under our belts.
Arriving on two separate flights, the group has safely landed in Munich and moved on to Salzburg. The first group was able to tour the town and even get into Mozart's birthplace! The Austrians really hold him in high esteem. Too tired to write more. I'll try to attach some photos to keep you up to date.
Waiting for our connecting flight to Munich in Reykjavik, Iceland.
We check out Universitat Mozarteum, Austria's answer to Julliard School of Music. Tomorrow we hit the Saltmines, otherwise known as "white gold" in medieval times.
Tuesday, April 8th. It's almost time! I'm hoping that this blog will bring everyone along with us as we go on an adventure of a lifetime. I hope to be assisted by two of our students and give you some photos and stories of our trip. Here we go!!