Since my arrival in Germany, the choir has attended an international competition in Krakau (winning several second-place awards), sung the European premiere of Martin Palmeri's Oratorio de Navidad, given multiple concerts, filmed a television segement, and, of course, practiced every Saturday morning for three hours or more.
Perhaps the greatest undertaking of the choir this year occurred two weekends ago, when the Neuer Kammerchor performed a benefit concert--titled 'Night Fever'--for German Rotary Volunteer Doctors, a national organization which raises money for various projects around the world. GRVD has set up and improved hospitals in Ghana and Nepal, among other places, and sent Rotarians with medical degrees to treat and train people in these countries. Our choir sang with a jazz accompaniment group and as backup for several soloists, as well as performing many pieces from our own repertoire. The preparation naturally required many hours of practice time, as well as setup, The songs ranged from Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ to Michael Jackson’s ‘The Way You Make Me Feel;’ from ‘Dry Your Tears, Africa’ from the film Amistad, to Eternal’s ‘I Wanna Be The Only One.’ We performed in four different costumes (including the blue evening gowns acquired for all the females this year) and also incorporated choreography. Professional lighting from a company that had toured internationally with well-known German band Silbermond made us look like rockstars, as did the smoke machine and the applauding audience of over 1100 people.
It was an experience I’ll never forget; singing, dancing and performing are some of my greatest joys. What made the evening even more special was the fact that we raised more than 28,000 euros for GRVD, which is 15% of the organization's annual goal. Singing with the third best youth choir in Germany which included many of my friends and my host sister, and raising money for Rotary at the same time, felt like a culmination of my exchange. It was truly a marvelous night.
To read more about German Rotary Volunteer Doctors, click here.
To see lots more photos from the evening, click here, to hear us sing click here, or to read more about the choir visit the website.