19.07.11 A great week
Where to begin?
Well, we’ve just arrived home from the most inspiring week we’ve experienced thus far as a group – and I think it would take a lot to top it. We once again attended Festival 500, but this time it was to take part in a new small vocal ensemble program headed by Rajaton and Bob Chilcott (formerly of the King’s Singers). We were excited heading into the week, but when we left London we could not have known how it would change us as people, and as a group.
First off, we once again stayed with our Newfoundland parents, Karen and Steve. To host a group of six people within their home is incredibly gracious, but they went beyond our wildest expectations; ferrying us from place to place and making us dinner everyday just to name a few things.
And then came the music.
There were some fantastic small groups, and it was nice to see some other groups from Canada which let us know we aren’t alone. Extra, from St. FX was particularly terrific. But there was one group that holds a special place in our hearts – and that is Vocado of Sweden. For well over a year we’ve now been in touch with them through email, but it was last summer when we let them know about Festival 500 that we really became closer, knowing that we would meet the following year. And then finally, we met – and they are amazing, terrific, wonderful people. It felt as though we had known each other for years. To hear them sing live was absolutely stunning and they even brought our girls to tears. They are so clearly the next big thing in this thing we call a cappella music, yet they are incredibly humble and kind people. We’ve already started working on when we can return the favour and visit them in Sweden. Here’s hoping next summer at the latest!
The first day of the festival saw us working with Bob Chilcott in a masterclass setting. His ideas, on the surface, were simple but they in fact were profoundly important for us. He talked about singing out, posture, and focus – and it has made a world of a difference. We also worked with Jussi, Essi, and Hannu of Rajaton. It was amazing to gain some insight into how they work musically, and they have us feeling inspired to work harder than we ever have to achieve our best. What was especially great was that we had a chance to have dinner with Bob, Vocado, and Rajaton and get to know them as the wonderful people they are. Rajaton was especially kind and encouraging to us and we can't thank them enough. Also, after first hand experience, I can agree with Virpi in saying that Finland makes amazing, if not the best chocolate.
After all of these experiences, and after a conversation with Tiina (Rajaton’s manager) about 'what it takes' to make it, we are definitely looking to work harder then ever before. A competition next June in Leipzig, a new CD recorded in Europe, and concerts with Vocado are all within the plans for the next year, and we owe it all to the inspiration provided by all of those that we met over the past week. May every musician have a week in their lives where they can feel how we felt every single day!
Back to Diary