Monday, April 12, 2010

The Falcon Choirs in the Press: Translation of the article (Thüringer Allgemeine)

Here is a translation for parts of the article (Thüringer Allgemeine):

Take 43 young and talented singers from the USA, a fully occupied wedding church and wonderful spring weather – what more could you need for a successful choir concert?

The travels from California went smoothly, all the way until shortly before Dornheim. Then, there was a closed railway barrier that no one had expected, thus making the concert start late yesterday, in the Bach wedding church, St. Bartholomäus. Luckily, nobody was bothered, because they were all very excited about the opportunity – both the audience, as well as the singers. […]

[…] There was an immediate connection between the choir and the audience yesterday. The young American singers showed that they can not only sing, but that they have fun while singing as well. After the concert there was coffee and cake in the Bachstübchen - and a donation from the choir to the society. The fact that the railway barrier was still closed, again, seemed to bother no one.

The Falcon Choirs in the Press: Concert in Dornheim

Newspaper: Thüringer Allgemeine

Fünf Jugendchöre gaben in der Traukirche ein Konzert

43 junge und begabte Sänger aus den USA, eine volle Traukirche und herrliches Frühlingswetter - mehr Zutaten braucht ein erfolgreiches Chorkonzert nicht.
Von Kalifornien bis kurz vor Dornheim gab es keine Probleme. Nur mit der geschlossenen Bahnschranke hatte keiner gerechnet. So ging es etwas später los gestern in der Traukirche St. Bartholomäus. Aber niemand störte es. Denn alle waren froh, das sie gekommen waren. Die Zuschauer, weil noch vor kurzem niemand mit diesem Kontert gerechnet hatte. Und die Sängerinnen und Sänger, weil sie begeistert waren von dem geschichtsträchtigen Dornheimer Gotteshaus. Wie passen 43 Sänger überhaupt in die kleine Kirche? Das Geheimnis ist: Es müssen ja nicht immer alle zusammen singen. Konzertieren die Damen, gehen die Herren auf die Empore - und umgekehrt. Und so geht das mit fast allen der fünf Chöre, die da gemeinsam durch Deutschland reisen. Sie kommen zwar alle von einem kalifornischen Gymnasium, der "Crescenta Valley High School", aber von den 1000 Gymnasiasten sind 200 in Chören aktiv. 43 von ihnen machen gegenwärtig ihre "Oster-Tour" durch Deutschland. München ist dabei und Berlin, wo sie in der Gedächtniskirche singen. Und Dornheim. Eigentlich sollte es ein Kontert in Erfurt werden, aber irgendwie kam das nicht zustande. Als Susen Reuter von der Arnstädter Stadtmarketing davon hörte, stellte sie den Kontakt her. Und die deutsche Agentur war gestern von der Dornheimer Kirche und den Gastgebern so begeistert, dass sie vielleicht wiederkommen wollen mit anderen Gruppen. Auch zwischen Chören und Publikum sprang gestern der Funke schnell über. Die Jugendlichen zeigten, dass sie nicht nur singen können, sondern dass es ihnen auch Spaß macht. Hinterher gab es Kaffee und Kuchen im Bachstübchen - und eine Spende der Chöre für die Vereinskasse. Dass die Schranke da immer noch zu war, störte noch immer keinen.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wishing you a safe flight home

After a final leisure day and farewell dinner on Saturday,the Falcon Choir tour comes to an end today as the group leaves Berlin and returns to LAX. We wish all the travellers a relaxing journey and safe return home. The Incantato Tour Team.

The Falcon Choirs Visit The Berlin Wall East Side Gallery on April 10

The Berlin Wall East Side Gallery is a 1.3km-long section of the wall near the center of Berlin. Approximately 106 paintings by artists from all over the world cover this memorial for freedom, and make it the largest open air gallery in the world.

While the Falcon Choir is spending time in Berlin with Incantato Tours, they will visit the East Side Gallery on April 10 and experience a part of German history.

The Gallery consists of paintings by artists from all over the world, painted in 1990 on the east side of the Berlin Wall. The East Side Gallery was founded following the successful merger of the two German artists' associations VBK and BBK. The founding members were Bodo Sperling, Barbara Greul Aschanta, Jörg Kubitzki and David Monti. It is possibly the largest and longest-lasting open air gallery in the world. Paintings from Jürgen Grosse alias INDIANO, Dimitri Vrubel, Siegfrid Santoni, Bodo Sperling, Kasra Alavi, Kani Alavi, Jim Avignon, Thierry Noir, Ingeborg Blumenthal, Ignasi Blanch i Gisbert, Kim Prisu, Hervé Morlay VR and others have followed. The paintings at the East Side Gallery document the time of change and express the euphoria and great hopes for a better and free future for all people of the world. In July 2006, to facilitate access to the River Spree from O2 World, a 40 meter section was moved somewhat west, parallel to the original position. Two-thirds of the paintings are badly damaged by erosion, graffiti, and vandalism. One-third have been restored by a non-profit organization which started work in 2000. The objective of this organization is the eventual restoration and preservation of all the paintings. Full restoration, particularly of the central sections, was projected for 2008. Remediation began in May 2009.

The pictures are from the website

The Falcon Choirs Visit the Jewish Museum Berlin on April 10, 11.30 AM

On Saturday, April 10, 11:30 am, the travelers of the Falcon Choirs are going to visit the Jewish Museum Berlin. Incantato Tours has arranged a combined visit and workshop under the title "Survival through Music".

The Jewish Museum Berlin covers two millennia of German Jewish history, and it consists of two buildings. One is the old Kollegienhaus, a former courthouse, built in the 18th century. The other, a new addition specifically built for the museum, was designed by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind. This was one of the first buildings in Berlin designed after German reunification. The museum opened to the public in 2001. Princeton professor W. Michael Blumenthal, who was born near Berlin and was later President Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of the Treasury, has been the director of the museum since December 1997.

Survival through Music - Tour of the permanent exhibition and a visit to the Rafael Roth Learning Center: A tour through the exhibition section "German Jews' reaction to National Socialism" is combined with a visit to the Rafael Roth Learning Center. Here, the story of Coco Schumann - who experienced social exclusion as a young Jew in Berlin - is interactively and excitingly relayed. At the age of 18 he was deported first to the Theresienstadt ghetto and then to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, which he survived as musician to the guards. Numerous documentary film clips as well as pictures, texts, and audio recordings give a powerful insight into his life and survival. With the help of a worksheet, visitors independently engage with the multimedia content of the Learning Center, answering questions on the offerings and source materials that they view and listen to at the computer stations.

The pictures are from the official homepage of the museum.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Falcon Choir student blogger Cody reports from Berlin: A Great Ending with the Man in the Red Scarf

So its Friday night here in Berlin and a few hours ago we had our last concert of the tour. We had a decent sized audience that provided the needed energy that we couldn’t gather up by ourselves after such a great and exhausting trip. Even when we don’t feel like we sang as best as we could’ve there always seems to be at least one audience member that has something to say that lifts our spirits right back up. I truly don’t believe we could’ve had a better tour with better performances. And with only one more full day to go, I can say that this trip has been worth every dollar and euro that has gone into it.
In tonight’s performance we had an older gentleman, whom we affectionately named “the cute old guy with the red scarf”, who had a special appreciation for the songs we sang. Throughout the concert it was obvious that he was really enjoying it, but he almost couldn’t contain himself after hearing the first few notes of Weeping Mary. In an instant he put his hands to his face in shock and from half way across the church I could see him holding back tears, and as our three split up choirs sang back and forth, he started discretely conducting the song along with Mrs. Alderman from his seat in perfect synchronization. Somehow he knew the song and he knew it well, and I think we may have made his night. Before we could get a chance to talk to him, however, he had walked out with his wife without saying a word to anyone. That was pretty dang cool to say the least, and a fantastic way to end our tour.
As much as I’m looking forward to going home to be back with my family, back in my house, and back to more comfortable food, I’m going to miss Germany a lot. I don’t know that I could live here or anything like that, but it sure is an amazing place to visit, and the memories that the 2009-2010 CVHS Falcon Choir has made on this trip will never be forgotten.

-Cody Chase

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Falcon Choirs Discover Berlin on April 9 & 10

On April 9 and 10, the Falcon Choirs are going to discover Berlin! This city is the capital and one of 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.4 million people, Berlin is also Germany's largest city. Located in northeastern Germany, it is the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg Metropolitan Area, comprising 5 million people from over 190 nations. Geographically embedded in the European Plains, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. Around one third of the city's territory is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes.
First documented in the 13th century Berlin was successively, the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia (1701–1918), the German Empire (1871–1918), the Weimar Republic (1919–1933) and the Third Reich (1933–1945). During the 1920s, Berlin was the third largest municipality in the world.
After World War II, the city was divided; East Berlin became the capital of East Germany while West Berlin became a de facto West German exclave, surrounded by the Berlin Wall (1961–1989). Following German reunification in 1990, the city regained its status as the capital of all Germany hosting 147 foreign embassies. Berlin is a major center of culture, politics, media, and science in Europe. Its economy is primarily based on the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, media corporations, congress and convention venues. Berlin serves as a continental hub for air and rail transport, and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the EU. The metropolis is home to world-renowned universities, research institutes, sporting events, orchestras, museums and personalities. Berlin has evolved into a global focal point for young individuals and artists attracted by a liberal lifestyle and modern zeitgeist.