Hope Singers 2016 – July 30th

The day dawned bright and early on the morning of July 30th, 2016. At 4:30am to be exact. Luckily for us (although not everyone fully appreciated this kind gesture) we didn’t have to be downstairs for breakfast until 6:45! After breakfast, everyone hurried to their rooms to pack because we needed to be on the road by 7:30. And here, when they say on the road at 7:30, they MEAN on the road at 7:30! (Except this time it was closer to 7:35….)

Once on our way, we settled in for the (supposedly) 4.5 hour bus ride to the place we would stay that night. 6 HOURS later, we arrived at the bed and breakfast with restless legs and hungry stomachs! The drive was longer due to construction, but it was made endurable by pleasant conversations and intense ROOK games. Strains of music circulated throughout the bus from a group of industrious (and guilt provoking) choir members.

When we finally arrived, we were behind schedule, so we quickly ate lunch, brought our luggage to our rooms, and got ready for our program, all in 1 hour! Then we hit the road again, this time heading to a Baptist Church, where our first program would be held. When we got there, we ran through our standing arrangements, parts of songs, and had a devotional and prayer time. Finally, it was 6:30, time for our first concert to begin. It was a good first program, but there is also a lot of room for improvement. However, despite our less than perfectly program, the music seemed to connect well with the audience, and they were very appreciative as we talked with them after the concert. It was a good reminder that God can and does work through imperfect vessels.

After mingling with the audience, we headed downstairs, where some church ladies served supper to us and a group from Northern Ireland that was in Poland for a church camp, and were at our program. It was fun speaking to people whose first language is English, though I still found myself asking them to repeat themselves due to their accent! All in all, it was a good experience, and a great time! I wonder what tomorrow will hold….

-Lani Fahnestock

Hope Singers – July 29

Today was our last day of rehearsal! It started at eight, with people wandering in at various stages of the waking-up process. After a devotional and prayer time, we launched into diction work. Now, we sing “Gloria in excelsis deo!” rather than just “Loria in eggshell seas mayo.”

This afternoon a local lady came in to help us make our Polish sound less American and more, well, Polish. (There may have been several moments where she just sat back and laughed at us. I’m sure we provided her with some great entertainment.) She was ever so kind, and immensely helpful. The amount of misplaced consonant clusters in our Polish songs has greatly dimished since then, many thanks to her.

We also sang some outside today, which allowed us to get into a different acoustic for a bit. (A bonus that came with that was getting to stand outside in the beautiful breezy weather.) Singing done for the day, we stuffed our faces with yet another delicious supper before heading into various plans for the evening – spikeball (Yes, someone brought that all the way here in their suitcase), music practice, packing, and lots of ironing. First thing tomorrow morning, we head out on our first leg of tour!

-Katherine Byler

Hope Singers – July 28 – Day 2

Woke up.
Warmed up voice.
Sat during group devotions.
Worked on lovely choral music.
Learned many very-difficult Polish words.
Coexisted with multitudes of delightful singer folk.
Waited while maestro fine tuned our standing arrangement.
Practiced the chillingly beautiful¬†“Salvation Is Created.”
Got shepherded toward perfection by Lloyd.
Ate some delicious Cordon Bleu.
Sang several barbershop tags.
Wrote boring update.
Laughed hard.
Addendum: Below,¬†you’ll find a limerick written by Jonathan Miller and Dave Gingerich:
There once was a choir from the States
Who sang Polish songs with their mates.
But found that the words
Flew away like the birds
And just wouldn’t stay in their pates.

Rehearsal Days: full of singing, socializing during breaks and meals, eating amazing Polish food, and listening to Mr. Lloyd’s every word!

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Hope Singers 2016 – July 27 – Day 1

Hope Singers 2016 – July 27-Day 1

It is with great excitement that I bring a report of Hope Singers 2016 becoming a reality! Most everyone arrived yesterday with the last choir member getting delayed until this afternoon. We had orientation last night and then people went to bed nearly right away.

Today started out with rehearsal at 8:00. Everyone seemed to be amazingly bright eyed and bushy tailed considering how jet-lagged we were last night. We rehearsed most of the day with some breaks and lunch mixed in. The evening was spent playing spike-ball, taking walks, playing tennis, talking, and relaxing. It’s been fun seeing the emails and practices becoming a reality, and I’m looking forward to the rest of tour!

-LaShonda Beery

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