Bonjour, tout le monde! Now that we are in Quebec, we have all begun speaking French. Well, that may be a stretch but we've about mastered bonjour, merci and the lyrics to Allouetta, gentille alouette. After a quick breakfast and check-out in Kingston, we caravaned up the road and enjoyed a picnic lunch at a park along the St. Lawrence River. Eager to become acquainted with Montreal, we found ourselves with a few obstacles along the way. First was the dreaded mechanical malfunction with the Gold bus. Our leisurely picnic became an even more leisurely stop as the drivers worked to get the bus up and running. We finally got back on the road, only to be met with detours, construction and more detours. The good news is we finally reached our destination in Vieux Montreal (Old Montreal, the historic downtown area); the bad news is we had so many delays along the way that we didn't have time to get off the bus.
Onward we marched to Verdun, an area on the outskirts of Montreal. Now we're certainly not complaining, but just as an FYI, it is really hot here! We understand, it's hot there in Maryland, too. One wee small difference is, in Maryland we are spoiled with air conditioning, while here it is just not commonplace. But the show must go on. Unloaded and rehearsed at the Notre-Dames-des-Sept-Douleurs, a magnificent church with great architectural detail, beautiful stained glass and art work (and, as previously mentioned, no air conditioning). After rehearsal we strolled down to the Montreal Korean United Church, where we enjoyed some of the best pasta we have ever eaten, along with delicious salad and fresh fruit. What a treat, and our hosts were so gracious.
On the way back to the concert a few folks made their way to the dollar store, looking for any excuse to enjoy a few minutes of A/C! And then it was showtime. These kids are such troopers. It was a challenge, but they just persevered and not only performed, they dazzled! Stunning performances of all the pieces, plus the addition of a new number - mais oui, it was in French. Cantique, with Cam soloing on cello. The audience was most appreciative, especially of the anthems which sounded just amazing, and the guys a cappella performance of Prayer for the Children. Chill bumps despite the heat! Another wonderful night, with these amazing young people singing to the glory of God. No matter how many times we hear it, it touches us to the soul and reminds us how grateful we are for this opportunity.
After the concert we traveled over to the Boys School, La Maitrise des Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal, which looks something like a huge castle on a hill to which the kids exclaimed upon seeing it "We are staying at Hogwarts!" After a little confusion we met up with our host families and departed for the night. Hot, tired, weary but holding on to that feel good moment when they hit the power notes at the end of "He Shall Rise"! On that note, Bon Soir!
Click Here for Photos from Day 6
Click here to hear Prayer of the Children from the concert at St Mary's Cathedral in Kinston ON, 6/21/12.