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Competition in Gorizia and Slovenia!

Written on: Monday July 19th, 2010

A journal entry from: Italy 2010

Hello all!

 Well it is the last official night of the choir tour...tomorrow we splinter off, some people going home, and others going travelling.  I am headed to Rome with Nicole, should be a great time...however, we have discovered that our hostel does not have air conditioning.  I think it will be an inferno.

The competition in Gorizia went very well!  It was very very hot the first couple days, of course.  We competed in the Folk class on our first full day, which went great and I think our costumes looked pretty good!  We were near the end of the class, and other people stayed to listen to the rest of the choirs.  Definitely some stiff competition from a lot of choirs.  Other choirs in the competition were from Latvia, Phillipines, South Korea, Hungary, Poland, and of course Italy. 

Our second class was Renaissance which was the next morning, we were first in the class at 9 AM!  This was with a small group of 14, rather than the whole choir.  Probably the best performance we've had of our program, and felt really good about it.  Then we stayed and listened to some of the other groups, and I definitely felt the pressure from Latvia!  The third class was that night, and was the contemporary class from 1900 on.  We felt really good about this one as well, and thought our program was really strong. 

That night we went to a choir party, with free wine!  Needless to say, there was some singing happening, and we all got to mingle with the other choirs, especially a choir from a Polish medical university.  Go figure.

The next morning was our last competition class, in the Romantic category.  Again, we thought it went really well!  Plus we woke up to rain and 21 degrees, which was probably the best thing that could've happened!  After the class, we were waiting to hear if we made it into the Grand Prix, which would mean that we placed first or second in a category.  So we were all in the hotel...waiting in the lobby...and then Amy came down to let us know that we were in!!  There was much screaming and jumping up and down, hugging, and of course tears.  It's been a long two weeks!!

We performed in the Grand Prix in the evening, and got to listen to most of the other choirs.  There were 6 other choirs competing against us, and we saw one Italian choir, the choirs from Hungary, South Korea, Japan, and the Phillipines.  Definitely a very high level competition.  Then it was back to the hotel to relax before the results at 9. 

The awards presentation was pretty exciting, a lot of cheering and clapping before they started the results.  Turns out we got 2nd in the Romantic and Folk categories, and 4th in the Contemporary category.  Amazing.  We also won a special prize for the best artistic program, so our overall selections of pieces.  Still disappointed that we haven't got first since Kathaumixw, but 2nd is pretty good!  The overall Grand Prix winner was South Korea.  They were very precise...so it wasn't that surprising. 

This morning we drove to Predjamski Grad, a castle in Slovenia, for a quick tour.  Then it was off to Postojna Caves, which was amazing!  The photos probably won't do it justice at all, but it is a 20 km cave, very flat, so it's easy to walk, and we saw about 5 km of it.  We were about 150 m below the surface, which was freaky for me already, and then the lights went out.  I think my heart stopped.  Luckily, they came back on, and there were no mishaps.  At the end of the guided tour, we went into a huge cavern and sang Kaipaava together.  There was about a 6 second echo, which was pretty crazy!

After that we drove to Ljubljana, and checked into our hotel, which is definitely the nicest we've stayed in.  We just had a great fancy dinner, and I think I'm going to go to bed early, since we have to be up at 4 AM tomorrow to drive to Trieste!  Gah. 

I may come back down in a little bit and post some photos, otherwise you'll probably hear from me from Roma!