[Editor's note: The following was submitted to Patch by Laura Kastilani, a junior at Notre Dame Belmont High School, and a member of the school's choir. If you would like to submit a piece about your high school experience, email email@example.com.]
By Laura Kastilani
This past summer, world famous choir director, Henry Leck, invited the Notre Dame Belmont High School choir and six other choirs to sing in Spain for the Kingsway International Children’s Choir Festival. The choir performed June 18 to 26 under the direction of Kristin Pfeifer.
We sang at San Francisco el Grande in Madrid, and at Sagrada Familia and Santa Maria del Pi in Barcelona. Notre Dame sang "Who Can Sail?" and "Non, Nobis Domine" along with 12 other pieces.
Being a part of the Notre Dame choir was a very memorable experience. After only a week of rehearsals (other choirs spent up to six months preparing), we set off for Madrid, and the schedule was jam-packed with sightseeing and three- hour rehearsals.
My Spanish teacher was a chaperone, and it was like having another Spanish lesson… except in Spain. We also put our Notre Dame knowledge to the test as we visited various castles, museums, and churches.
During the rehearsals led by Henry Leck, voices created melody, chords, and even dissonances. From being in a room of 20 singers to 200 was indescribable.
There is nothing that compares to going on tour. I only had a couple of friends going into the trip but after a week, I got to know all 17 girls. Experiencing so many new aspects of culture at the same time as my Spanish teacher, choir director, and 17 new friends is a once in a lifetime experience, and I will never forget all the laughs and memories we had together.
I can’t thank my choir director, Kristin Pfeifer, enough for preparing the choir for such an amazing tour to Spain and to my parents who gave me the opportunity to go on the trip.
To view a YouTube video of the girls' performance, click here.