Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Eric Conway: Morgan State Choir Travels Through the Austrian Alps

Dr. Eric Conway writes:

Day 7 in Salzburg:  Through the Austrian Alps!

Today the choir did not have a concert planned - almost as though we did sing today for our national U.S. holiday - Memorial Day!

As we looked ahead at the activities planned for today, little did we know that we were going to be blown away as much as we were after seeing some of the beauty of the region.  

We first were given a “Sound of Music”  tour in the morning, featuring most sites shown in the movie including Leopoldskron Castle (residence of Van Trapp family), site of the lake scene behind the residence where everyone fell in the water, and the gazebo where the song:  “sixteen going on seventeen" was sung.  As we once again tried to finish the movie on our way to the Van Trapp residence, we were reminded why the movie was so successful.  First, the Rodgers and Hammerstein score is brilliant, with tunes that are as American as apple pie.  The timeless themes of love, faith, individualism are still relevant today.  But one of the biggest reasons for the success is the beauty of the Austrian landscape as a backdrop for the movie.  Today, we saw the backdrop for the movie up-close and personal.  The sites where the movie was filmed were even more beautiful in person than one could imagine on a small television screen.  Surprisingly, most Austrians have never seen The Sound of Music.  It is mostly an American phenomenon. Oddly, the movie has injected billions of dollars of business over the 50 years since the release in 1965 into Austrian culture.  Sadly, more people know about Salzburg in relation to The Sound of Music, than do people know that is where Mozart was born.  See photos attached from sites seen today related to the movie.  The photos of Moodsee church, where the wedding was held is included from our concert given in that church on Saturday!

We then toured the Salzburg Lake District - forty-five minutes from the city, where we drove directly beside and through the Alps to get to our destinations. The view was breath-takingly beautiful!  We went to the towns of Fuschl, St. Gilgen, Bad Ischl, and Hallstatt!  I took over 400 photos from the day. 


Link to drive up a mountain in the Alps:

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle
Eric Conway, D.M.A.
Fine and Performing Arts Department, Chair
Morgan State University

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