I awoke this morning from a very good sleep. From what I could determine from the ambient noise in the hallway, it sounded like most of us went to bed at a reasonable hour. We all ate breakfast in the dining hall of the Hotel Haarlem (lovely and very comfy). After a short ride in the center of Haarlem, we took a guided tour of the city. Here are some pics:
The tour ended with a visit to the St. Bavo Church in Haarlem’s market square. It was a beautiful church and we were all quite moved (Chad Q called it the “Church of Awesomness”).
Inspired, we decided to sing. To be safe, I asked for permission, which we received. We decided to sing Eric Whitacre’s Lux Aurumque. We don’t normally sing this memorized, so there were a few problems due to memory slips. Also, we were not at all warmed up, and it was so cold in the church you could see your breath. Those factors aside, I think we sang very well. I think we were all moved by the sound and the surroundings. I know I was. Here is the video:
Afterwards, we had a few hours of free time in the city center. There was much shopping.
We boarded the bus around 2:30pm for a 2.5 hour bus ride to Dokkum. We stopped along the way to view the dike that separates the Netherlands from the North Sea and protects it from flooding. We went directly to Fontein Kirk (Fountain Church) to meet our host families for our two night home stays. Tomorrow we will tour Leeuwarden, have our first master class with Geert-jan, and later give an evening concert at the Fontein Kirk.
More to come soon.