The Virginia Glee Club has returned from our fantastic international tour to Argentina!
The tour was a huge success complete with sold out concerts, hundreds of dollars in merchandise sales, and the message of harmony, love, and brotherhood being spread to an entirely new continent. We can not thank our Argentine audiences enough for coming out and being so joyful and warm. During our first concert the audience applauded for what seemed like hours after our processional. This warm welcome made everyone in Club beam with pride, and it was a moment of foreshadowing for the rest of the trip. One piece in particular that our audiences enjoyed was the spiritual, “Yonder Come Day”. During every performance, this piece was met with a standing ovation at its power and presence.
Although music was our priority on this tour, concerts were not our only tour activity. The Club indulged in the fine arts of the tango and traditional Andes music, went on a boat tour of the La Plata river, and saw the sites of historical Argentine churches and monuments. One of these churches in particular, the Cathedral de La Plata, really moved the members. The scale of the cathedral (over 350 feet high) and the time it took to build (over 100 years) was striking. The space was so powerful that we felt the need to sing one of our sacred pieces, “Spaseniye”.
Along with our knowledge of the history and culture, we also grew as musicians. We were fortunate enough to have a workshop with Oscar Escalada, one of the most renown composer in Argentina. He arranged two pieces for us and this tour, and he helped us work some latin passion into our performance. During our concert in La Plata, he even conducted one of his own arrangement. It was really a great moment for us as he rejoiced at our hard work on the piece while the audience applauded.
Finally, our last day in Argentina was filled with a relaxing and beautiful afternoon in the farming countryside. We were there to learn about the ways of the gaucho, the Argentine equivalent of cowboys. As we saddled up and rode horses across the wonderful rolling hills, we reflected on our amazing week in Argentina!
Although the week was filled with activity and lacked sleep for the club members, it was an unforgetable experience where we made memories that will last a lifetime. Again, we would like to thank our Argentine fans, Classical Movements, our tour fund donors, and the members both past and present of the Virginia Glee Club for making this happen. This is a huge step in the history of this 145 year old organization. Now, we look to the future and the great things we will accomplish leading up to the 150th season!