Thursday was a great day for exploring Nashville. After saying our goodbyes to our fantastic host families, we took the bus over to the Harding’s Belle Meade Plantation, a beautiful property with acres of green grass, a huge mansion, and knowledgeable tour guides. Next we headed over to Centennial Park, where we all snagged some lunch and explored the nearby park, Vanderbilt campus, and Parthenon replica. Afterwards, we took the bus to our hotel, where we chilled and watched the sweet sixteen games, a fun way to end our second day in Nashville!
Friday we had a great opportunity to do a choir exchange with another HS Choir from Donelson Christian Academy, also a PS-12th grade school! They were a show choir, so it was fun to see a different side of the choral repertoire. We had some bonding time (especially the basses) with the other group before we headed downtown. We spent the afternoon at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Afterwards we headed to a clinic with Cristian Grasas, who is one of the choir directors at USC. WOW, it was a great time and the choir improved so much in 55 minutes. He was also impressed with us, which made us feel good :) Afterwards some of us had a free night at the hotel, while others went to their first honor choir rehearsal...more about that later!
Today was a crazy day! We had an early morning start (4am wake up call!) and a mostly non-eventful flight to Nashville (except for the 1 hour wait at the gate in Portland because of a broken cabinet door handle...). It was the first time flying for some but everyone did great! We made it to our first destination, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, where they fed us a DELICIOUS dinner with fried chicken, BBQ pulled pork, beans with bacon, okra with bacon, potato salad and so much more. It was amazing! Following that feast, we had our first performance at their midweek Lenten service which went GREAT! It was a solid first performance to put under our belts, especially going into the busy performance weekend. We are excited to have a free day and explore a little bit of Nashville tomorrow. I feel blessed to be the choir director for this amazing group of students. Excited for the weekend! --Jon Vevia