Friday, May 25, 2018

Eric Conway: The Morgan State Choir "had a great full-length concert" in Vienna, Day 3

Dr. Eric Conway writes:

Our third day in Austria was not as exciting as our second.  It is fairly difficult to top a tour of the cemetery where Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms are buried, if you are a musician - not to mention singing in one of the most famous venues in all of Europe!

We toured the Hapsburg imperial summer palace which was built on the outskirts of Vienna called Schönbrunn Castle.  The word Schönbrunn means "beautiful spring" due to an artesian well consumed by the residents.    This was a huge property with a backyard the size of a football field!  Behind the castle was a hill where one could enjoy a breathtaking view of all of Vienna. 

We toured the castle via a headset giving the history of the castle.  Unlike in Spain, this castle was very crowded where one could barely move though the residence.  All rooms were so guarded and blocked off, one could not get a true sense of the building, except for its large size of 1,441 rooms!  

After the tour of the castle, we had a group lunch eating one of the most typical Viennese dishes, Wiener Schnitzel  meaning Viennese cutlet which is a thinly breaded veal cutlet.  The portion of Wiener Schnitzel served was enormous!  Once again, we got a chance to taste the culture of the region.  It was tasty!

Our concert in the evening was at the Minoritiekirche Wien,  translated as the Vienna Minority Church!   Of course we had to chuckle at the idea of singing at the minority church - being an HBCU.  And of course I immediately asked why we were singing at the Minority Church.  Apparently there is an order of monks or friars called: the Order of Friars Minor Conventual - they were called minority monks!   The church was given to this order of monks in the thirteenth century.

We had a great full-length concert!  The space at the church was smaller than that of St. Stephen’s cathedral.  Due to a relatively more intimate setting, the sound of the music was better.  In trying to connect with the Austrian people, having taken German in college, I announced the concert in German.  Although not perfect by any means, the attempt of speaking the native tongue was certainly received well.  See photos from the day attached.


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