We Came, We Played, We Conquered

Trip Start Jun 09, 2008
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Trip End Jun 18, 2008


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Flag of Italy  ,
Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hi friends and family -
Everyone had a great night sleep - had a fabulous breakfast at 8:00 a.m. at the hotel -Meats, cheese, cereal, yogurt, fruit, juice, coffee.  It was yummy.  On the bus at 9:00 a.m. met our local guide and interpreter named "Santa" or Saint.  She took us to visit the Castle of the Sforza dynasty, the Teatro alla Scala (La Scala- famous opera house) and the Duomo (cathedral). 
La Scala was amazing.  Before we went to the Museum we actually got to go inside and look around the theatre.  It was breathtaking!!!  We were all wishing we could get dressed up and go to the opera (even Craig.... ha ha)  It was that amazing.  We stood in awe for some time..... We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the theatre although I think a few kids got a couple of snapshops before being clapped at.  In the lobby we did take a group picture around the bust of Mascagni (he wrote Cavalleria Rusticana.)  Afterwards we went to the La Scala Museum.  Beautiful pictures, instruments and costumes of famous people/operas.
The Duomo was next.  Beautiful design/construction and restoration.  It was incredible....some took the stairs/elevator all the way up to get a city wide view of Milan.  Spectacular.
We then went into little groups.  Students had their lunch/gelato money and off we all went to eat and shop.  Many shopped at H & M, drooled at Prada -even tried on a raincoat (ha ha) and all had a great time.

Back to the hotel for a rest/practice and to get organized.

Got to Pavia (about an hour south of Milan) and went directly to the church - dropped off our instruments and headed for supper nearby.
Supper was a culinary delight! Lasagne to start (Lindsay downed hers in 30 seconds - it was that good ha ha), then turkey and potatoes in this light clear sauce that was just devine and fruit salad for dessert.  (Vegetarians - Kimi and Steven had penne pasta and a wonderful salad)

Off to our concert - the church was gorgeous.  The church was built in the 16th Century and decorated in the 17th Century.  It was recently restored from 1990-2000.  They will be bringing home pamphlets on the Church -of course it is in Italian so we will need Sharon Spaulding to translate....
The students did not know what to expect, but we were all surprised when we started to warm up and could hear the beautiful acustics.  The tone was rich and full of life.  After each release the sound would just vibrate in "space".  It was incredible.
The concert started shortly after 9:00 p.m. we ran our concert as scheduled. The students did an amazing job since we haven't played together since last week and the cellos were still playing on 3/4 sizes.  Everything was played beautifully and the audience although sparse (only about 18-20 people beyond our Waterford/tour group people) were very appreciative.  We did cut out the St Paul's Suite because of time, but before we even finished the last bars of Czardas the audience was already clapping and on their feet!  They asked for an encore so we ended the evening with the Jig from the St Paul's Suite. 
It is wonderful for the students to be appreciated for their music and their playing as it stands, and not because of their reputation or because it is expected of them.  They were applauded for their musicianship tonight and the students were excited to share their music with others and loved being appreciated for it!  I was very proud of them tonight.

All in all -it was a wonderful way to kick off our concert tour. 
Exhausted, but happy we returned to our hotel and will be off to Cremona and Genoa tomorrow morning.

Hugs to everyone - all the students are happy, well fed and send their love to their families.
Till tomorrow,
Kathy and Craig

PS - if you would like to - please post a comment on the blog.  If you press reply to sender it only goes to Craig's e-mail, but if you would like to share postings with everyone please press the "post a comment" button.  Look forward to hearing from you all!
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Comments

halmorris
halmorris on

LOOKING GOOD
ENJOYED READING THE DAILY BLOG. THE SITE OF THE CONCERT LOOKED BEAUTIFUL AND GOOD TO HEAR THE AUDIENCE APPRECIATED THE EFFORT. YOUR GROUP IS BETTER THAN GOOD AND WILL PLAY INSPIRED MUSIC DURING THIS TRIP.
KEEP US POSTED AND CONTINUE TO ENJOY THE FOOD AND SIGHTS.REGARDS TO ALL
HAL & PHYLLIS

mmasaki
mmasaki on

Bravo and Good Luck!
So happy that your tour in Italy has started off with such success! It sounds like the students will not only gain valuable musical & cultural experiences to help them grow as an emsemble but also to help shape them as richer individuals. Kimi looks so grown up and happily integrated! Hope Sami is enjoying herself. Bravo to you and Craig for your efforts! Have a safe journey & good luck with the rest of the tour!
Love Meg, Peter, Julie & Robert

mmasaki
mmasaki on

Bravo and Good Luck!
So happy that your tour in Italy has started off with such success! It sounds like the students will not only gain valuable musical & cultural experiences to help them grow as an ensemble but also to help shape them as richer individuals. Kimi looks so grown up and happily integrated! Hope Sami is enjoying herself. Bravo to you and Craig for your efforts! Have a safe journey & good luck with the rest of the tour!
Love Meg, Peter, Julie & Robert

teru
teru on

Hi Everyone
Hi All, What an amazing trip. Craig, I wrote you and Kathy some important details for Kimi about texting me with her status and whereabouts apon arrival.She should try to hustle to make her connecting plane if she lands on time and go ahead and get on board and not wait for me, because I could be delayed. If she misses it, she should text me where she is waiting and I'll come find her. I sent it off through this travel blog, but I think it must have gone over to your Waterford because I don't see it posted here and I recieved an away notice after sending it. I hope you are able to retrieve it. Love to all. Have fun. Love Teru

rbennett
rbennett on

WOW
I love new technology and especially ones who know how to use it!! Thank you so very much for including those of us at home into your adventures!!

Thank you, Thank you!!
Steven's Dad

dandahanson
dandahanson on

WOW!
The pictures are beautiful! The video of the concert was fantastic! It looks like everyone is having such a great experience! We are so proud of all of you! Stephanie--we love you tons!

vietflower
vietflower on

Making Us Proud
To All:
Thanks for the images and travel log. It's the next best thing to being there with you. Would welcome more images of all the kids. Hoping your audiences grow larger; the locals don't know what great music they're missing. Wishing all continued safe journey and memorable experiences. Please remind Vanessa to email us at first opportunity.

Hoa & Mike

vmaetani
vmaetani on

We're Proud of YOU!
Incredible! . . . Castles, churches, exquisite architecture, sculptures! Who would have dreamed that our musicians would be playing in an exquisite place like the San Luca church. We loved watching the video, and like you said the acoustics must have been amazing because it sounded wonderful on the video.
We send our greetings and love to Ashley and friends. Know of our gratitude to Kathy and Craig for making this magical experience possible for our kids--a memory of a life-time!
Looking forward to the next report and photos.
Best wishes to all. The Maetanis

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