The past two days have been hectic, a bit rainy, but a lot of fun. We started Monday with a private liturgy just for our tour group in the Chapel of the Miracles in the beautiful brown and cream striped marble interior of the Duomo in Siena. Beatrice Santner evidenced her great directing skills by reacting "on the fly" and adjusting the repretiore during the Mass to the fact that we did not have access to the organ in the side altar as expected and the Choir stretched its experience to new levels by singing several pieces (including "Three Days" by Holst) acapella for the first time.
After the Mass and a tour of Siena, the Group enjoyed a winery tour in Montalcino and negotiated the purchase of a number of cases of Brunello de Montalcino wine to be shipped back to the States. The 16+ hour travel day ended with a long bus ride that got us to our hotel in Roma about 10 pm.
On a slightly soggy Tuesday, some of the Group started with a walking tour of the Forum and ancient Rome, while others slept in a bit and then explored the city on their own. In the evening, the Choir performed its first ever public practice in preparing for a concert with the Choir of the Church of St. Maria Degli Angeli, which is a massive church designed by Michelangelo in the Baths of Diocletian. The Church Choir performed three numbers and then the Visitation Choir sang a two set concert of classical music followed by traditional American Spirtuals. The Concert reflected the precision and nuance that only can come after singing together every day now for almost a week and both Victoria Botero and Richard Gammon thrilled the SRO crowd with their beautiful solos. Victoria also exhibited her Italian language skills, serving as our inpromptu emmcee.
Today has risen bright and sunny and we are off for our last Mass and a full day at the Vatican and seeing other sights in Rome.
We will upload videos and more pictures when we get home.