The last eight days with the Chattanooga Boys Choir and our amazing staff in Costa Rica have been absolutely incredible. Five performances in and around San Jose, masterclasses with choral luminaries Digna Guerra and Tim Sharp, collaborations with area schools and several local and international choirs, exploring the customs (and food!) of this wonderful and generous culture, visiting breathtaking volcanoes, the rain forest ecosystem, and centuries-old landmarks ...this was a remarkable trip, and I could not be more proud of our choristers or more grateful for our talented and caring staff who took such great care of all of us!
While the highlights above will remain with me forever, I will also remember watching older choristers help our newer and more anxious travelers through the rigors of tour with positivity and encouragement, having an Argentinian conductor stop me in the airport and summon a coffee barista to translate her effusive praise for the boys, witnessing a senior chorister fix a younger boy's glasses using electrical tape and a paper clip, having a restaurant manager confide in me that he and his staff were nervous about hosting such a large group of boys but was overjoyed with their kindness and conduct, and witnessing a grateful older woman put the faces of two boys in her hands with tears running down her face after their performance - they did not speak a common language, but they each knew exactly what was on each other's hearts.
The theme of the event was, aptly, a choral festival for peace. It became more evident through the week that singing is both a natural vehicle for and expression of peace that is understood worldwide. It was also a reminder that choral music brings together people in a magical way that allows us to know ourselves and each other better, so that beauty can be found in both the literal and figurative harmony that results. My congrats to all, and my most sincere thanks to the choristers, CBC families, and staff!
Et in Terra pax, and PURA VIDA!