Powell Hall

One of my favorite parts about this year’s Kantorei Kamp was getting to tag along on the field trip to Powell Hall, the home of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (which is the second-oldest symphony orchestra in America). Of course I knew about the Symphony, but I had never really thought about the building in which they play. Powell Hall was originally the St. Louis Theater, which opened in 1925, and was host to live shows, Vaudeville acts, and movies. It wasn’t until 1968 that it reopened as the new home of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.  I really wasn’t prepared for the grandeur of the building, which I noted the moment we walked in the door:

The Grand Foyer, which was modeled after the royal chapel at Versailles, is amazing to look at. There are beautiful crystal chandeliers and gold ornamentation taking the form of fleur-de-lis, dogwoods, and even instruments throughout. It is an amazing sight!

We stopped in the Met Bar, which, as the name suggests, contains a piece from the bar of the old Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. There are more beautiful decorative elements in this space, as well, including the only original chandelier from the St. Louis Theater:

We got to see the view from the Grand Tier, which made me feel like I was in an episode of I Love Lucy:

And from the Grand Circle. You can really appreciate the gold leaf on the ceiling from this viewpoint!

We then went to the very front of the hall. We didn’t get to go onstage, but we did get to take a look from the wings, and get an idea of what the musicians see:

We then got the real backstage tour, where we saw the “locker room,” if you will:

As well as the musician’s lounge:

We saw a lot of signed photos from famous entertainers who have performed at Powell…my favorite was Jack Benny (of course!). We also saw the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s Grammy award.

The outside of the building is quite grand, too.

This was a really fun trip, and I enjoyed getting the chance to see something really new. Now we just need to go to a concert, so we can get the full experience!

An Unexpected Field Trip

Kantorei Kamp is always really fun for the children, and they also always learn a lot. It’s not every year, though, that one of their activities happens to coincide with our summer school studies!

For the second year in a row (at least), Kantorei Kamp fell during Make Music Day. This year, the choristers had the opportunity to go hear a quartet from the Greenleaf Singers in concert. This was especially timely because the Greenleaf Singers are a Renaissance group, from the music they sing to the costumes they wear. Yes, I know we’re studying the medieval period this summer, but let’s face it…there’s is some crossover during those two periods, and the music we heard was very similar to that on the medieval CD I purchased for this summer. And as a bonus, we recognized on of the Spanish pieces from our Rick Steves’ European Christmas CD…and Chickadee was the first one to point it out! It was definitely a fun experience for everybody!

Kantorei Kamp Week

For the fourth summer in a row, “The Bigs” have participated in a Kantorei Kamp at Hope Lutheran Church in St. Louis. It’s a busy, fun week for everybody, because while they’re at camp, Chickadee and I go adventuring…sometimes, I think she has more fun than her siblings do!

On Monday, while the Kamp had a full day of music theory, handbell practice, and choral rehearsals, Chickadee and I went to the playground in Forest Park and to the Missouri History Museum, where we visited the History Clubhouse and the new “Muny Memories” exhibit:

On Tuesday, Chickadee and I went to the Missouri Botanical Garden in the morning, and then joined the Kantorei Kamp for some swimming at the YMCA:

Wednesday was a little bit cooler, so Chickadee and I walked around the St. Louis Zoo and the St. Louis Art Museum:

We only had a little bit of free time on Thursday morning, so Chickadee and I visited the St. Louis Public Library and read some books before joining the Kantorei Kamp for a backstage tour of Powell Hall, a picnic lunch, concretes at Ted Drewes, and a concert by a quartet from the Greenleaf Singers for Make Music St. Louis Day:

And today we went with the Kantorei Kamp to the LC-MS International Center to hear them sing for chapel. After that, Chickadee and I visited the St. Louis Science Center before picking up “The Bigs” from their last day of Kamp:

And a bonus handbell piece from church on Sunday, which I managed to record while they rehearsing before the service:

Kantorei Kamp 2017

For the third summer in a row, “The Bigs” attended Kantorei Kamp at Hope Lutheran Church in St. Louis. It is definitely the highlight of June!

The sang for three different services at three different locations for camp. On Thursday, they assisted with chapel at Concordia Seminary St. Louis, where they sang a verse of “Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Your Word,” in addition to other pieces:

On Friday, they assisted with chapel at the LC-MS International Center, where they sang some  of the pieces they had done at the Seminary, and some they hadn’t. My favorite of these was “Lord, Thee I Love With All My Heart.”

Another of their pieces, “For You, O Lord, Have Delivered My Soul From Death,” is based on Psalm 116.

They also sang Cantate Domino, which they have sung in the past:

They worked on a sung version of the Choristers’ Prayer at camp, although they didn’t sing it publicly. I got to hear it while I was waiting for them to finish up one day, though!

They sang all of the pieces they did for both chapel services for the Divine Service at Hope this morning, and they also sang a verse of Hope’s 100th anniversary hymn, “As Stone on Living Stone Is Set.”

And they even got to play “Lord of All Hopefulness” on handbells!

It was a fun week for everybody, even Chickadee, who got to spend a lot of time with just me this week. And she turned into something of the camp mascot…she even got her own T-shirt!

This is the last year all four of “The Bigs” will get to participate in Kantorei Kamp, because Turkey has aged (and voice-changed) out of it. The rest of the children are already looking forward to next year’s camp, though!

Kantorei Kamp 2016

The children had another amazing week at the Kantorei Kamp at Hope Lutheran Church in St. Louis! They had the opportunity to pray Matins every morning, and Responsive Prayer every afternoon. They had a lot of fun singing, as well as playing handbells and various percussion instruments. They also participated in the Music Olympics, went swimming, and sang at both Concordia Seminary and the LC-MS International Center on Friday, and at the Divine Service at Hope this morning.

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This past year of singing with Hope’s Kantorei has been such a wonderful experience for them. They’ve learned so much about music, and they’ve made some good friends. Kantorei Kamp may have just ended, but they’re already looking forward to starting their next season of singing!

My Choristers

The children wrapped up their choir camp experience by singing during the Divine Service at Hope Lutheran Church in St. Louis today. I am so happy they had this experience, and I’m looking forward to hearing them sing more in the future!

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