Yesterday was our second and last day in Sweden. We started the morning singing for the 11:00 service at the Sankt Pauli Kyrka in Göteborg. During the service, the stringers played along with the organ on the hymns. They sounded so beautiful. The choir sang Daniel, The King of Love and Go Now in Peace. Though the service was long, we enjoyed sharing our gifts with the congregation. The best part of the service, though, was when the singers and stringers had the opportunity to sing Shout to the Lord with the congregation. The singers were standing in the aisles singing it in English, while the congregation sang it in Swedish. This was an amazing experience as we got to break the barrier of language with music. Several members of our tour were crying after the event. After the service, we were given the rest of the day as free time. Some people went to an art museum, adventures to old town Göteborg and explored the botanical gardens. Jenna and I decided to explore the mall for gifts for back home. While we got lost a few times on the way to the mall, we eventually found it. We spent about two hours wandering and observing the culture around us. Both of us purchased gifts for people at home. Once we were done shopping, we decided to leave. In trying to leave, we discovered that we didn’t remember the door we went in. We decided to exit a random door and go exploring. We ended up exploring ourselves right into the botanical gardens. Both of us had been interested in going to them but didn’t expect to. The gardens were wonderful. The tulips were in bloom in many different colors and shades. It also had a river running along side of it. The garden was so peaceful that we spent another hour and a half exploring. After, we managed to make our way back to the hotel. After our long adventure, I was happy to see that I had taken 16,500 steps. Finally, I spent the rest of the night relaxing in my room, preparing for the long day of driving that was quickly approaching.

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Day 3 ~ Louisville, Kentucky

On day 3 the choir and stringers awoke early in the morning to perform in worship at Centenary United Methodist Church. After the service, we ran to the bus to make our way down to Kentucky for an afternoon matinee. On our way, we experienced our first tunnel dance of the year. We soon arrived at the church and quickly warmed up for our 4 pm performance. After a successful performance, we were greeted with an amazing potluck dinner provided by the wonderful congregation of the church. With a longer evening, we were able to visit and get to know our audience and hosts for the evening. With a little more free time than normal, the singers and stringers are currently catching up on sleep and homework before we return to the road tomorrow.

Day 2 ~ Terre Haute, Indiana

After staying in our first home stays, we started to our second destination at Centenary United Methodist Church in Terre Haute, Indiana. This was an especially fun concert because we were joined by the Northview High School Advanced Choir, directed by Brenda Buchanan. Their choir was working on several pieces for Chicago, one of them being “Nyon, Nyon” by Jake Runestad which the we are also singing. Because of this coincidence, we were able to collaborate and sing together on this fun song. Not only did we have a fun concert, but had amazing home stays with some of us becoming “international performers” in Brazil, Indiana.

Day 1 ~ Davenport, IA

On February 24, the Castle Singers and Kammerstreicher set out for the first stop in Davenport, Iowa after a long week of midterms. The Singers and Stringers spent the first exciting day at St. Paul Lutheran Church with Chris Nelson as our host. While the Singers were rehearsing, Kammerstreicher and Dr. Tews visited Rock Island High School orchestra in Illinois to clinic and perform with the students. After a wonderful dinner provided by church members, we performed our first tour concert joined by a select group from the Rock Island Orchestra. The group played two songs they will be performing at Disney in March. One of the other highlights of the evening was the world premiere of Dr. Tews’ “A fishin’ apron cesspool.” This madrigal is written in “mad gab” and at first, glance looks like many random words strung together, but when it is sung, tells the tragic story of a princess and a fish. Kammerstreicher and Castle Singers are currently on their way to Centenary Methodist Church in Terry Haute, Indiana to perform their second concert.