Today started out with an early breakfast and an 8:05 am rehearsal for our solo "Fantasy on Kings Weston" for the Echoes For Peace concert. After rehearsal we attended the morning service. The Japanese choir that played for the service was really good. As we sang the mass songs English, everyone else sang them in their native tongue. We also said the Lord's Prayer in the same manner. Following the mass, we had massed rehearsal. Today was the first day we started to nail the song as 1200 ringers together.
Before our third workshop, we had some free time. For the first workshop of the day I went to 'Canadian Cultures'. A representative of the Canadian guilds talked about how Canada doesn't exactly have it's own culture. When she finished talking she showed us how to play the musical spoons. The first people who moved to Canada from Europe couldn't bring pianos with them so they used the spoons to play music. She taught us several different rhythms and we played them to songs written by native Canadians. We also had another workshop after lunch. My class was about ringing Japanese folk tunes. Eiko, Mrs. Lawrence, Miname, Hiroshi, Mr. Shimazu and myself were all in the same class. We sightread and rang several songs and I was really good because I couldn't sightread until this year. Then we had another massed rehearsal and mastered the last two songs.We packed up the bells to be sent to the performance hall and finally went to our rooms to get ready to be the delegation from the United States of America in the International Echoes for Peace concert.
We were one of the six delegation choirs from around the world. The UK, Korea, Canada, Australia, Japan, and of course the United states were represented. There was also an Echoes for Peace choir which had only met for the first time at the symposium. There was also a speech by Shigeaki Hinohara, the president of the HRJ (Handbell Ringers Of Japan) who happens to be 99 years old and totally awesome. He talked about how Echoes for Peace was a good theme for the symposium because during the event, the 65th anniversary of the bombing in Hiroshima was commemorated that morning.
Jessie and Chelsea