Singing in Spain

By Saj Sri-Kumar


Chamber Singers got standing ovations and cries of “bravo” in response to their performances over a 12-day spring break through Spain.

The Chamber Singers toured the country, performing in five different venues in Barcelona, Cordoba, Madrid and Seville. The group performed American, classical and Spanish songs in venues ranging from churches to a retirement home.

“My favorite moment was singing at an old age home for homeless and underprivileged [people] outside of Madrid,” Jack Petok ’11 said.

“They never have any concerts or anything in the town and it was just a really special experience to be able to share this music with them. There were lots of cheers and smiles we just really connected with them.”

Kelsey Woo ’11 said that the final concert in Seville was her favorite moment on the trip.

“My favorite moment was definitely in [the] beautiful cathedral in Seville,” she said. “We were all really emotional because it was the end of the trip and we all ended up crying. We were singing this beautiful song, ‘I Carry Your Heart With Me,’ and everyone burst out in tears, especially the seniors because it was an ending.”

To plan the trip, performing arts teacher Rodger Guerrero worked with Spanish teacher Roser Gelida and ACFEA Tour Consultants to plan out the best locations at which to perform. The tour company helped to advertise the trip in advance, leading to packed crowds at many of the concerts.

Beanie Feldstein ’11 said that one of the biggest differences she noticed between performing in the U.S. and in Spain is that audiences are much more vocal with their praise.

“There was one old woman in Barcelona who would yell ‘bravo’ after every song that she liked,” she said.

Guerrero also commented on the enthusiasm of the audiences.

“The fewest standing ovations we received [at any particular concert] was two,” he said.

In addition to singing, the group was able to visit museums and attractions across the country, including the Prado and Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid and Las Ramblas in Barcelona.

“As an AP Art History student, I really loved seeing all the amazing art,” Feldstein said. “We saw Gaudi’s architecture [and] Picasso’s Guernica.”

The trip follows a long line of choral trips to Europe. The Chamber Singers visited Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary in 2003, Denmark, Estonia and Sweden in 2005 and Italy in 2009.