Thursday, 31 July 2014

Day 5

Hey parents!

Sorry for the late post- the wifi at the hotel stops working around 8pm because so many people are on it, which makes it hard to blog at the end of the day.

Yesterday morning was very relaxing (for me anyway) as the kids had free shopping time with their chaperones.  My mom and I had 2 hours of marvellous time without any children. It was lovely, and I think everyone else enjoyed the quieter time. 

We had a call time of 2:30pm to be at the Golden Hall for the final concert of the peace festival. We got to sing again on the stage with hundreds of people watching. We also go a surprise performance from the Vienna Boy's Choir. It was amazing! The kids were very excited. They also got another surprise when the Vienna Boy's Choir stood RIGHT behind them during the mass choir pieces. It was amazing to watch and listen to hundreds of children singing on the stage of the Musikverein. 

After leaving the hall, we quickly made our way to another venue for a quick concert with a choir from Beijing. We were asked if we'd join this choir in another concert as they were not allowed to perform in the Golden Theatre; some political reason or another...
It turned out to be so much fun! We received a special certificate that has joined the two choirs together as sister-choirs.  We performed 20 minutes each and then had time to exchange gifts and make new friends.

..there was even a resident dog at he concert venue.

Waiting to hear our new sister choir sing.

I even made a new friend along the way. A little brother of two of our singers! Cute hey? ;)

Then we sang almost all of the songs we knew. It was nice to hear new repertoire! 

The two choirs then came together in song, singing one of the mass choir pieces.  It was so beautiful.

After a very long day, the kids once again pulled through and made it home in one piece.  We are so beyond proud of them.  They have grown as musicians, performers, travellers and people!  I couldn't ask for a better group to travel with! 

Today we leave for Salzburg on bus. For those of you who don't know, Salzburg is the home of The Sound of Music! We will be having a great time as we wait for the camp to start on Monday.

I will try to blog as soon as I can, stay tuned :)


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

DAY 4- an unbelievable day

Today was definitely one that the kids (and the chaperones) will not soon forget.  All of out expectations were blown away. We started the morning with our usual delicious breakfast and then started our commute to the UN headquarters in Vienna. These headquarters are known all over the world as there are only 3 worldwide. We entered through what felt like airport security and then we're greeted by 193 flags and a fountain...

We then took pictures, hung out and waited until it was our turn to sing In this beautiful outdoor space.
After we sang for 20+ choirs and important representatives at the UN, we got a short but great tour from our tour guide Petra..

Yes- that is one oft he famous conference rooms!

 We learned all about how the 193 countries that are part of the UN make important decisions- even though they speak all different languages.  The kids were fascinated. 

Then- my favourite part of the day- the balloon release. We happened to be singing at the UN headquarters for the day of Human Trafficking Awareness.  We heard emotional speeches made by representitives explaining what human trafficking is, and how an awareness needs to be made. Although most of the kids didn't quite understand why we were releasing balloons.... It was emotional nonetheless. 

Amazing pictures hey? It was incredible. 

After the balloon release we were given certificates,  commemorating our visit to the UN headquarters, one for each of the kids to keep.

We aren't kidding when we say there are a lot of choirs here! Us Canadians are vey popular too- many picture requests! 

The next part of day was unfortunately not allowed to be documented with camera and iPad were instantly confiscated upon entering the Golden Theater. You need to Google this place so you know what the kids got to sing in today. Just picture a gigantic theatre, walls and ceiling covered In gold paint and amazing art pieces.  It was a truly incredible sight. Google "musikverein" , and you'll find some YouTube videos that will show you this amazing space. 
In the theatre the choir had a "sound check" and time to practice getting on and off the stage for the big concert tomorrow evening.  They also had a mass choir practice with Gerald, where 350+ singers come together and sing 3 pieces.  It was a wall of sound coming at the chaperone filled audience, another highlight of my day.

Finally, the kids got some time to relax at a peace festival choir function.  We took the train (conveniently with the Belgium Boys Choir) to the theme park in Vienna where there was a complimentary BBQ for all the choirs. 

Here we got to eat, take a breather, and make some new friends! 18 choirs from China alone made our choristers feel very comfortable :) it's amazing to watch them interact. We exchanged gifts from our home countries, took pictures, and made some new friends. Even the chaperones and myself made some new friends and some potential new tour buddies... ;) 

Last thing- we happened to walk home from the train in a torrential down pour... Oops! It was quite the sight when we got back to the hotel, I couldn't help but take a picture-

Or two..

That's the end of day 4- hope you enjoy! Stay tuned for another exciting day tomorrow!


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Haus Der Musik!

This afternoon we went to this amazing music museum that was totally kid friendly and interactive. It was hrd to get everyone out because they were having so much fun!
I even got to conduct my very own virtual orchestra that looked like the Vienna philharmonic! 
Here are some pictures from our trip to the museum-

Sorry for the poor quality- it was very dark in this place! We're just about to go have some down time at a park where we'll have a picnic. Potential later blogging! 


Day 3 Morning

This morning we got to sing for very qualified and important musicians who gave us an adjudication.  We walked over to the Muth- and we actually got to be in the House where the Vienna Boys choir lives most of the year! Very exciting. We worked with Mr. Norten after we sang and he offered us great advice regarding how to sing in German, while keeping great tone and phrasing.
Here are some pictures from this morning.

I'm actually blogging from the Haus der Musik- a very famous music museum here in Vienna.  I will be posting more pictures later on today!

- R.P

Monday, 28 July 2014

Final post from day 2

I couldn't help but blog one more time today. It has been such a crazy, busy, tired, stressful and jet-lagged day!  The kids have been behaving so well and are responding well to their new home. Tonight after the concert we came back to the hotel and had a "wind-down" snack time. We asked the kids what their favourite parts of today were.  Some include:

-Meeting the Chinese choir
-Taking the train (for the first time ever!)
-"The big huge church" (I assume that was St. Stephen's)

Hopefully you're not missing you're kids too much.. Because so far everyone is having a blast ;) here's some final pics of the day before we start toget ready for bed. Finally. 

Check back tomorrow! 

Meeting a Chinese choir our age.

A picture with everyone (including Gerald Wirth!)


St. Steven's cathedral

We had the pleasure of being in St. Steven's cathedral for the opening ceremonies this afternoon. It is an amazing building with beautiful architecture. 

We had a quick meal at Mc Donald's, and are about to go meet and greet a Chinese choir. 

Look forward to blogging tomorrow!


Day 2 so far...

This morning after breakfast we took the train to Stephansplatz- where They will be singing this afternoon in the opening ceremonies for the peace festival! Here are some pics of us exploring the center of Vienna!

I got the pleasure of exploring with Matt and David.

And after lunch, my roomies couldn't help but ask for another silly picture of them- 

I may blog later with more pics! Stay tuned...


Sunday, 27 July 2014

The end of 30+ hours of travelling!

Just about to have our "dinner"- even though everyone has eaten quite the selection of snacks and airplane food! 

After dinner were going to go to the park to chill out and do our best to stay awake.  Here's to 30+ hours of travelling and getting settled. So far so good!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the peace festival where we'll be singing in the opening ceremonies and participating in many more fun activities and an evening concert.
I will update a soon as possible tomorrow with more pics! 

- R.P

The choir has arrived!

I now have just gotten news that the choir is safe and sound in Vienna! Myself and Jeannie (the accompanist) won't be arriving until early this afternoon - which is very early morning Calgary time. 
Time for a day of relaxing and coping with jet lag!
I will post picture of the kids as soon as I meet up with them in a couple of hours. Stay tuned!

- R.P

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


Hello and welcome to the 2014 Arioso Vienna Tour Blog!

This blog will follow the Arioso Children's Choir on their adventure to Austria for 16 days. Daily updates, pictures and videos will be posted every day of the tour for the parents, friends, and family of the choristers to enjoy.  

Stay tuned for July 26th- as that marks Day 1 of a fabulous tour!

-Rebecca Paynter
Chief Chaperone