MTGS Choir Italy Tour
The Girls’ School choir recently enjoyed a trip to Italy following the conclusion of the summer term. President of the School Music Council Sophie kept us up to date with all the highlights of the trip:
We arrived safely in Verona after a flight with a scenic view of the Alps. Immediately hit with 30 degree heat, we made our way straight to the pool (in our very stylish swimming hats) to cool off and then finished the day with a lovely dinner at the hotel where the girls tried traditional Italian foods like polenta and caprese salad. We then had our first rehearsal and a well deserved sleep in our new rooms.
We started a jam-packed day with a rehearsal at the hotel and then headed off on the coach to Venice. We were put into groups and given a photo challenge and a scavenger hunt to complete whilst we explored. After lots of friendly competition and gathering for pictures in various famous sight-seeing spots, we made it to our concert venue: St Marks Basilica. The choir gave an outstanding performance at Mass and we are all extremely proud of ourselves and grateful that we got the opportunity to sing in such a prestigious venue. There was then a quick turn around to an up-close and personal performance of ‘The Barber of Seville’ at ‘Musica a Palazzo’, which was an exciting end to our day of experiencing Venetian culture. Tired but fulfilled, we made it back to the hotel at 1:30am to get some well-deserved rest ready for our next day of the tour.
On Monday morning the choir embarked on an adventure through Molina Waterfall Park. We took in the stunning views and some of us shared the magical experience of singing a piece of our concert repertoire in a cave with a beautiful echoing acoustic. The zip wire and a swing over a waterfall were also highlights of our trip.
We then went back to the hotel to partake in a pizza making workshop where we had fun making our own lunch (and then eating it!)After lunch, we went on a shopping trip in Lazise as well as stopping for gelato, fruit and to dip our feet in the lake.
We then arrived at our concert venue, the Villa Ducale, and enjoyed an outdoor buffet. The choir shared a really special moment at the concert, with many of the choristers and even staff left in tears at the raw emotion that was expressed in our performance. We left the venue feeling extremely proud of ourselves and ready to tackle our next day in Venice.
Our final full day had finally arrived and so we made our way into Venice on our private boat to seize the rest of the time we had left in this beautiful city.
We started with lunch in a restaurant on the waterfront with a beautiful view. After our meal of pasta and panna cotta, we had some time to buy some souvenirs and then we made our way to a mask making workshop.
At Ca’Macana we learnt about the mask making process and the rich history behind the beautiful Venetian carnival masks which are still worn around Venice today. Then we were able to paint our own masks in whatever style we wanted, with some of the girls producing some fabulous works of art.
Our final concert took place at the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paulo. We gave an amazing final performance and many tears were shed as we sang ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, a reminder of home, of how far we’ve come and of all of the hard work we’ve done.
We were then all treated to pizza, which we ate on some steps as we took in the facade of the beautiful church we sang in. We followed our pizza with some gelato and then started to walk back to our boat. As we walked, we sang some of our concert repertoire for people sat in nearby restaurants and on balconies. The residents came out of their apartments to wave us off as we walked for the last time through the beautiful streets of Venice and boarded our boat.
When we got back to the hotel, we finished our evening with thank yous to all of the staff that have helped us on this amazing journey. There were lots of tears of pride, happiness as well as sadness that this special trip with what we would consider our second family has come to end.
We would like to express our gratitude to Mr and Mrs Tao, Mrs Mayne, Miss Howard, Mr Barton and, of course, the amazing Mrs Gervasoni, who has made this entire experience possible and is always pushing us to do our best. Not many people can say that they have the ability to change lives but the school music department and all the staff in it have really been able to make a difference for so many people and we will always be grateful for the memories that we have created because of them.
The tour choir finally landed back in Manchester on Thursday after a safe flight with Jet 2.
Thank you to the staff at Jet 2 for allowing us to sing to one of the passengers on our plane who was celebrating their birthday. It was wonderful to finish off our tour with one final song in yet another unique and memorable venue! #Jet2View
We have also included recordings of some of our other performances in Italy, including ‘City Called Heaven’ (featuring soloist Mary) and ‘May It Be’ in the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paulo as well as the very special ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, performed in the Villa Ducale.
We are all so thankful for the opportunities that this tour has brought to us and every single member of the choir has brought home memories to last a lifetime. Thank you to everyone who has kept up with reading our blog whilst we have been away; we are so glad that we could share this experience with you.
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