Two months of auditions, anxious waiting, and rehearsing for two days of singing. The Vienna music trip was from the 27th to the 30th of May, and even though it required overcoming my insecurity that I wouldn’t make the 17 people that travelled, many practices, and learning how to pronounce and sing words from another language that I had never spoken before, it was all worth it because that was one of the most fun experiences I have ever had.
Let’s start with auditions. Seventeen people got to go to Vienna from the choir in grades 7, 8, and 9. First, our choir teacher, Ms. Boyadzhieva, (or as we call her, Ms.B.) gathered a list of all the people that wanted to go. Let me tell you now, there were a lot. Almost 30 people altogether from the high school choir, and the middle school choir. Then, we held auditions and well.. I GOT IN! I was so surprised I got in, and I was really happy. But now that auditions were over, it was time to get the songs we were singing and start rehearsing.
So now onto the rehearsals. The songs we sang were really challenging, and I had a tough time following along. We had to learn one German song, one Latin song, and one English song. They were all really difficult but we learnt them eventually, with countless times of me singing the wrong part, forgetting the words, or pronouncing the words wrong (whoops). We also had to learn how to sing as a new choir and get used to everyone’s voices together, because there were people from the high school choir and people from our middle school intermediate/advanced choir and we had to learn how to sing together in a matter of two rehearsals, but we pulled it off because we practiced at home and we worked together. It really truly was worth all that hard work, because we got to work with the famous Vienna Boys Choir.
Finally, we get to the point where I actually talk about Vienna. Vienna was just truly simply amazing. The city was so beautiful, because Vienna is basically the city of music due to so many composers such as Mozart, and Beethoven being born in cities right next to Vienna.
The second day we were in Vienna, we worked with the Vienna Boys Choir. If you don’t know The Vienna Boys Choir is a choir of boys that are selected from around the world, mainly Austria, and they are one of the best known and most famous boys’ choir in the world. The choir originates all the way back to 1498, the middle ages, when there were only six in the choir. Now, there are almost 100 boys in the Vienna Boys Choir all together, the Vienna Boys Choir is actually four different choirs, and they stay at an institute, while one choir is travelling, all the other choirs are staying at the institute and learning. Each choir is named after a famous composer, for example one of the choirs is called the the Mozart choir, another is the Schubert choir.
We got to work with the Schubert choir. We began by working with the conductor by himself of the Vienna Boys Choir for two hours. It was a bit difficult because the boys sang the songs differently than we did, and we also had to work to make the songs we were doing better, and we had to fix some of the pronunciation but the conductor made it so much fun to work. Then, after those two hours we worked with the Vienna Boys Choir and we practiced our songs with them, then we performed.
Photo Credit: Mira Boyadzhieva
Even though the performance was just an informal performance in their music hall in front of the chaperones and Ms. B, it was a lot of fun because the Vienna Boys Choir decided to perform by themselves for us too, and after we all performed together, the people who went on the trip that were in the high school choir, performed some of their own songs from their repertoire. The Vienna Boys Choir choir loved us, and so did their conductor, in fact, he liked us so much that he taught us two new songs. We learnt one famous Austrian folk song, and one African Song plus a dance to go with it.
Another cool thing was, when we were rehearsing with the Conductor by himself. The conductor had actually told us, “I made these boys learn the songs really well because I didn’t know if you guys were good or not, and if you weren’t good they would have to know the songs really well, but now I know you guys are really good, almost as good as our Schubert Choir.” That was a huge compliment. But after we were all done performing, we got to talk and take a picture with the Vienna Boys Choir. There was actually this really cute boy there named Marco, and everyone was too shy to ask for a picture with him, but when Ms. B started to take a picture of him, first Rhea, and Kamber, two 9th graders joined in, then I joined in…
Photo Credit: Mira Boyadzhieva
then everyone joined in on the picture because well, he was really cute.
Photo Credit: Mira Boyadzhieva
We were talking to one of the boys from the Vienna Boys Choir about what it was like to be famous, and he said, “It’s fun but, also a bit tiring sometimes because the rehearsals are almost 3 hours long, and it can get really boring and really long.” I found that really interesting because when we think about being famous, we usually think of the public events, the fans, the attention, but we don’t really think about all the work that goes into it.
We were having so much fun and the Vienna Boys Choir liked us so much, that we ended up staying an hour longer than we were supposed to. At the end, we all got certificates, and then we went shopping, and may I add that the city center in Vienna is so amazing, it is so pretty, and very convenient because any and every type of shop you can think of, is all on one street, and it’s amazing.
Another cool thing that we got to do was perform in a church. Once again it was informal, just in front of the strings group, the chaperones, and a few people who came to look at the church. The aim was just to test our acoustics in the church. We actually sounded really good, part of the reason for that was because the church was built in a way that it echoed the notes that we sang, as it was constructed to let slow music, such as singing flow through the church naturally.
So in conclusion, the Vienna music trip was amazing. Even though there were hard times, we got through them and had an amazing time experiencing the wonderful city that is Vienna, and we sang our hearts out. Working with the Vienna Boys Choir was one of the greatest things I have ever experienced, and so was simply being in Vienna. Even though I’m sad it’s over, I am thankful for the opportunity.