I mentioned in an earlier post that I would be traveling with the UCLA Chorale this past weekend to Arizona for a joint performance of the Verdi Requiem. And what an incredible weekend it was!
Even before our scheduled departure time at 1pm on Friday, members were congregating outside the choir room in Schoenberg at the loading dock where our luxury charter buses were parked and ready to load. Our excitement compounded with the thought and preparation that went into organizing every detail of this trip (from meals to accommodations to evening activities) resulted in a weekend we will never forget for the rest of our lives. Besides being a musically exhilarating experience to sing the Requiem accompanied by members of the most prestigious orchestras in the country, it was a wonderful cultural experience for me personally as it was my first time driving through that part of the Mojave Desert, and my first time in the state of Arizona. Scottsdale, where we remained for our trip, is such a quaint, peaceful, and beautiful part of Arizona that I was more than a little melancholic when we piled onto the LA-bound buses on Sunday.
As our professor Dr. Neuen had told us many times as he was preparing us for the performance, this was going to be one of the greatest performances we would ever partake in in our lives, because of the incredible repertoire, world-class accompaniment, renowned conductor Robert Moody, and hard work we put into learning and perfecting our execution of the piece. And surely, it was. I will never forget this experience of traveling with more than a hundred “choirmates”, staying in beautiful homes of friendly Scottsdale families, and having so much musical fun in one weekend.