I’m currently in Troyes of France, which is about a 3-hour ride from Paris. Just in three weekends, and I’ve lost count of the number of churches I’ve been to. Every time I enter one church, I am captivated by the beauty of the interior and overwhelmed with waves of urge to sing. Some churches play spirituals in the background really softly, and I am reminded of the times I sang in a church. Even though the last time I sang in a church was 7 years ago in Prague, yes I still cannot forget the sensation.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been to practice. First it was the exams and now it’s the summer exchange programme. My idea of choral music was always very related to SYC, and my long absence made me feel like I was physically very out of touch with choir music. Sure, I hum and play choral music in my head all the time but ultimately I need to sing with others. NEED.
The school over here in Troyes brings us out every weekend, and after the recent weekend trip, I’ve come to realise that choral music can be anywhere. We went to somewhere near Lake Geneva, across the banks of Switzerland. So yes, with the Swiss Alps behind me, I had to do a Sound of Music meme shot. I just had to.
(PS, there is some form of similarity here. There just is.)
I was told that this town that we stayed in was the birthplace of Evian water, yes that overpriced bottled water was still overpriced over there. And as we explored the small town, in one of the churches, there was a choir singing! Of course I was the only one excited about it. I just whipped out my camera and used whatever remaining memory I had to film it all down. In all the hype of course I did not realise that my group of friends had left to explore other places, with only a few remaining to watch me wet myself with excitement. It was a small choir of about 25, with little kids and adults singing together, and they were singing one of those catchy upbeat tunes I’m not sure if I have heard it before or if it was so catchy that I find it familiar.
Not to mention that elderly choir in the cafeteria of the hostel we were staying at. I they were just visiting the area or touring, but they brought out a birthday cake for one of the elderly men, and started singing Happy Birthday in French! And then they just had to sing another short 4-part all men piece in celebration of his birthday. At that point of time I was so proud to be a choir geek I swear, albeit a closet one. I was thinking: holy, all choirs around the world do this! It reminded me of my secondary school and JC choir, bursting out in short pieces and celebrating birthdays randomly.
It helped that I found a fellow choir geek on this trip, and we could get excited together, talk about our different choir experiences together, and sing two parts out of four-part songs because we have to make do 🙂
– Germaine –