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catching up a bit for July 9th…

(Another day with free internet access! This time in Portsmouth on Monday at the library next to the university…I missed my chance in Oxford because I had to meet up with Andy & Marcus…more on that later…)

First I want to catch up with the rest of Friday, Competition Day…I didn’t get the chance to tell you that before our Friday morning rehearsal before we left for the competition, we finally heard Nick play the organ! (Have I mentioned he was an organ scholar at Cambridge?) Pretty awesome, but he said he had no music so couldn’t do a proper job for us…then the headmistress or whoever she was came & told him off for not getting proper permission even though he had asked and was told there was no problem…ah well…at least we had one chance! He’s hoping to be able to play for us on Monday when we get to Maly’s friend’s church in Havant, so we’re all really looking forward to hearing him play… :)

Now back to post-competition…here are some comments from complete strangers that were heard by choir members:

– Marco was told “Oh, I heard about your choir and that ridiculous one point!” said in disgust…

– The audience member sitting next to Maly and me during the adjudication said “These judges never give a 95!”

– Mariakoren, the Swedish choir who beat us and were sitting near us during the adjudication, told Peggy and Carolyn that after they heard our performance, they were sure we had won.

– Other members of Mariakoren told Ben that they had done their research in advance, much like we did, and based on www.choralproject.org, they knew we were the choir they had to beat.

So, those comments are nice to hear, albeit bittersweet…what put it all into perspective for me personally was when we were all leaving the tent after the adjudication…some of the members of Fullerton College said “Congratulations” and inside my head I said “What for?” then immediately realized that Fullerton College didn’t even place in the top three, whereas we had still placed 2nd in our very first competition. Personally I am ready to move on, but not everyone in the choir has gotten over it yet, so I will leave it at that right now and not go into who is the most bitter…

Since we were SO bored Thursday night stuck in the dorms with no munchies nor alcohol, and we REALLY really needed to blow off steam after our “loss,” we begged Nick to let us stop at a store or something to pick up supplies…I’ve never seen such a long line of people in concert blacks buying so many different kinds of alcohol! haha…so yes, there was a PARTY back in the common room that night! Much drinking to be done…I personally was drunker than I have been in recent memory (“smashed” was the term Nick used to describe me?) seeing as I finished the whole bottle of Archer’s peach schnapps that I bought with a little help from Sheila, Robin & Kathy… :) Ah, but it was fun! We even got Nick dancing which was quite an accomplishment! It’s never an accomplishment to get Robin, me, Peggy & the gay guys dancing, so we all had a lot of fun…yes, the music was iPod-generated hooked up to the common room stereo…

But, the most fun actually was that there was a Romanian folk dance group staying in the same dorms, so some of them came by our party, and the clarinet/woodwind guy was truly awesome! He played clarinet, wood flutes, just about anything, and it was great fun. We tried singing a couple pieces for them, but I think we were pretty drunk to do a good job – heh! To me, this international camaraderie is what Eisteddfod should be about, not worrying about the competition. The Romanians even brought some home-distilled “fire” they called it…I only had one sip and it was pretty much lighter fluid! We asked if they made it themselves, but no, their grandparents made it! haha… :)

The party started dwindling about 12:30, and I left about 1am to get some sleep…since we had to leave by 9:30 for Powis Castle and breakfast only was until 9am, I had about a good 6 hours of sleep, so I was a bit tired, but not even hung over…nice…! 😉

Next: Powis Castle and the Choir of the World Concert…

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