Amazing Austrian Adventure
In June I (Louisa) went on an amazing trip to Austria as part of Isamilo international School Choir. We went to compete at the Anton Bruckner International Choir Competition in Linz! Here I will tell you a bit about it!
There were nineteen of us in the choir from years 3 – 9. We flew with Emirates to Vienna (through Dar es Salaam and Dubai) and stayed there for 2 days. In Vienna, we were able to do and see a lot! We toured all the best sights of Vienna on a ring tram. We visited Schonbrunn Palace and enjoyed watching the Peter Pan ballet at the Vienna Volkspoer … accompanied by an amazing orchestra! We also visited the government healthcare building as one of the choir was diagnosed with mumps so many of us went to get vaccinations! As a reward we then all went to the ice cream parlour. We had fun shopping and loved having subway for dinner!
After two days enjoying Vienna, we travelled to Linz by train, which was good fun because we don’t travel by train here in Mwanza. It was a beautiful ride, crossing fields of green grass and wheat and we saw an old castle which we visited later on in the week. The next morning, we went to register at the Choir Competition venue, ‘The Bruckner House’ and we met other choirs and made some new friends. Then we went to explore Linz! We rode on the oldest tram in Linz up to a castle. There we found a fairyland grotto (Grottenbuhn) and we went on the Dragon Express through an imaginary world.
After lunch we went for our first rehearsals testing out the buildings acoustics. In the evening we attended the Opening Ceremony in Linz Cathedral. It was amazing to listen to songs from some of the other choirs, coming from all over the world, for example, Sweden, Russia, South Africa and Turkey. After a good night’s sleep we woke up early in our hostel to leave for Bruckner House. After rehearsing for a few hours, it was time to compete! We performed on stage for four judges. We sang very well! We sang about eight songs for the competition and I fully enjoyed it! Four people in our choir including myself had solos.
Afterwards we went into Linz for lunch and after our delicious pizza, we sang for the restaurant staff and customers in return for free ice creams for us all! That made us all very happy! (It was quite fun singing in random places during our trip, like restaurants, clinics and airports… and we did get more free ice cream!)
Later that day, we took the bus to St Florian Monastery with three of the other choirs to perform there. It was awesome to sing in such a beautiful building with amazing acoustics in the large space.
Then we went and watched fireworks on the Danube River, something some of my classmates had never seen in their lives before. It was a wonderful day and evening!
The next day we got the wonderful news that that we were in the top four out of the eleven countries represented! So we had to practice more because for the closing ceremony the finalists have to perform again! The closing ceremony started at 6:00pm and five other choirs performed (Sweden, Russia, South Africa and Copenhagen girls’ choir) and then we were last to go on stage. We had a short intermission for the judges to decide… and then we were awarded a gold certificate for winning the “traditional music” category! Also the judges created an award just for us for showing the joy of singing! Overall, Sweden won the prize of 2000 euros and at the end all the choirs got on stage and we all danced and celebrated!
When we returned back to Vienna we went shopping again and went to theme park. We rode on the Prater which is a Ferris wheel and had great fun on bumper cars and go-karts. It was my first time to go on a roller coaster which was really scary for me and we also went on a water roller coaster.
On our last day in Austria we went to the Vienna Chocolate Museum. I learned how chocolate is made and sadly that white chocolate is not healthy but dark is! While we were they we also decorated our own chocolate …on mine I used coconut, white chips, dark chips and mini marshmallows.
It was such a wonderful trip! I loved hearing all the choral music which is very different to the traditional African music we were singing! I particularly liked the Copenhagen Girls Choir! They had amazing voices and were also really friendly! It was interesting having Austrian breakfasts, which are more like a lunch with ham and cheese and different types of bread (which were really good). We tried some Linzer tart on our last morning in Linz which was yummy. I also found all the very historic buildings in Vienna very interesting (especially the clinic building). And finally, I loved the opportunity to sing on stage, especially in the Monastery! Although it was scary, I was very glad I was able to sing a solo and I have learned to project my voice! I am very thankful that it was possible for me to have this amazing experience!
By Louisa, Year 8