CSC Women’s Choir Conquers Austria

On March 8, the women’s vocal ensemble, Arioso, ventured to Salzburg where Spider Man jumped out of a bar, squatted in front of us, and attacked with his invisible webs. “Fat Tuesday” in Austria is apparently more festive than Halloween in the United States.

We spent two days in Salzburg, Austria, also known as the city of Rumors, according to our tour guide Monika.  We learned that Salzburg is famous for its gossip and its large dessert, soufflé which flops like a deflated balloon when punctured. The joke is that Salzburg cooks with hot air, Monika said.

We also fulfilled one of my life long dreams: we visited several places where “The Sound of Music” was filmed. We walked through the gardens, and some of us went up to the Abbey where Maria Von Trap was first a nun.

We were given the opportunity to visit a Viennese high school choir and orchestra rehearsal  for their performance of Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and “Juchzet dem Herm alle Welt,” from Mendelssohn.

“You’re not together. Pay attention. Vowels. Consonants. Stop talking. This was good. Do it again.” Although this was being said to music students in German, Arioso knew all too well what the Viennese School director was expressing to his students.

We made our way to the classroom, which, to many of us, resembled a typical band-room with hard wood floors, blank walls, and a man with a baton.

We giggled through the rehearsal with thoughts of our own choir classes in mind until it was our turn to perform. When we were announced, the room full of high school students roared with applause.

Even after we performed, the applause continued like it never stopped in the first place.

Something everyone noticed was the fact that there was no language barrier. It made all of us consider why we should embrace other languages as the other students were expected to embrace English.

“I feel like we, as Americans, should focus more on learning a second or even third language. Although I took two years of Spanish while in high school, I am by no means fluent in Spanish. On our trip, we encountered so many wonderful people, many of whom were bilingual. They may see learning English as a necessity, but I was still very impressed,” Kelsey Kaitfors, 22, of Whitwood, SD said.


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