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A Choir Visit to Luxembourg
By David Smith, Flute Teacher & Director of ISZL Zug Campus Choir

In early May, the ISZL Zug Campus Choir travelled to the beautiful country of Luxembourg to perform at the international school. The journey through France was extremely easy, comfortable and quick and we arrived at the hotel on time. After a quick turnaround, we went into Luxembourg city for dinner. It was great to see every member of the choir having a wonderful appetite and almost every plate of the delicious pasta or pizza was completely eaten!

The next day was our cultural visit to the beautiful and compact city of Luxembourg. We started by visiting MUDAM, the Museum of Modern Art, a stunning building which houses few large and important pieces of conceptual art as well as non-permanent exhibitions. Designed by the Chinese architect I.M. Pei, the glorious atrium of the museum was truly inspiring and the choir members asked our guides impressive and pertinent questions throughout the tour.

We then travelled to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Bock Casemates which is the most important historical site in Luxembourg. We walked through many tunnels in these battlements which often gave stunning views over the city. The 600-year-old tunnels, with their intriguing and vital history, were a fascinating part of our day. After lunch, we had a tour of the city and our guides shared their passion for their country and city- a truly interesting tour. We even had some time to do a little shopping!

The following day was spent at the International School of Luxembourg where the Head of Music, Dr. James Libbey, greeted us. The day was spent singing with the ISL Middle School Choir and the Middle School Choir from St. George’s School, Luxembourg. The morning rehearsals were used to combine all 3 schools to sing 2 pieces together, as well as individual choir rehearsals, in the theatre. The three choirs took workshops on the ukelele and experienced the choreographic nature of playing the Japanese Taiko drums. Also, It was a wonderful opportunity for the 17 Middle School girls who would be singing at the AMIS Middle School Honor Girls’ Choir festival in Zürich to get to know each other and to rehearse several pieces together.

After some hours of rehearsals, the 3 choirs performed two concerts, the first to the ISL Middle School and the second to several classes of the Primary School. I am very proud of the performances of the choir and each piece was warmly applauded and appreciated by the audiences. There is no doubt that the choir sang beautifully and that each member was fully concentrated and sang to their best ability. Several teachers from ISL and St. George’s complimented the choir’s performances and excellent behaviour. The choir members were wonderful ambassadors for ISZL!

Organising a choir trip such as this takes a lot of work and support behind, as well as in front of, the scenes. A huge debt of gratitude goes to Ruth Vigus, Tarja Muller, Chantal Felix and Sian Parry-Sedgwick for their help in the logistics of the trip and to Kate Olsson, Becky Hamilton, Eon Louw and  Gabriela Willi for being such excellent chaperones. Lastly, a very special thank you must go to Mrs Fiona McKinlay for her support of the choir and for her help during the trip and for accompanying the performances so beautifully.

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