|In the Footsteps of Leonard Bernstein and Michael Tilson Thomas|
San Francisco Girls chorus tours Japan
San Francisco Girls Chorus toured Japan with concerts at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, and 7th World Symposium on Chorus Music in Kyoto, as well as a performance of the Britten War Requiem in Tokyo to commemorate the end of WWII.
Dr. Susan McMane, Artistic Director, San Francisco Girls Chorus talks with Classical Movements about the tour.
SFGC has toured to many different countries, including Germany, Hungary, Italy, Taiwan, Lativa, Estonia and Finland. What was your impression of the venues while on tour this past July and August in Japan?
The concert venues were terrific. The two most outstanding halls I've ever sung in were the Kitara and Kyoto Concert Halls. What architectural and acoustical gems! We felt so honored to be able to sing in those spaces, and the Chiba Paru-ru Hall was also amazing.
Performing was an enormous part of the tour for the San Francisco Girls Chorus, yet sightseeing was equally as important for such a culturally different country. How was that portion of the tour managed?
We were in such terrific hands! Our tour manager made sure everything went well logistically and the local guide with her smile and bows made sure we could communicate what was needed. I have been on five other international tours and never had such good guides. I really appreciated our tour manager coming back to my dressing room to make sure I had everything I needed before a concert.
How would your rate your accommodations?
I felt the hotels were excellent. They were all very convenient to our rehearsal/performance sites. The hotels in Sapporo and Kyoto stand out as being the most beautiful.
Do you think the home stays were a valuable experience for the girls?
The girls raved about their homestay experiences in Japan. Not one complaint, which is a minor miracle! They were treated with such respect and honor by all the families. I'm not sure how all those arrangements were made, but I know it can be a nightmare to organize. So, I thank whoever did it, for making it work so smoothly.
Do you think the performances were something San Francisco Girls Chorus will remember?
The concerts Classical Movements booked were very exciting. I believe that you did an excellent job finding us wonderful concert experiences for a reasonable fee. (I'd give you a "10" here!) I know the choir members felt as though they were important to the outcome of the Britten War Requiem. It was again an honor to be a part of that event (the commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima).
What feedback did you get about the meals served while on tour?
There was a good balance between Japanese and Western meals. One of the most notable was the lunch in Chiba given to us by someone we didn't know. She had read about our coming and treated us. It was really special for all of us.
Did you receive any special feedback from any of your choristers?
One of the girls told our Board of Directors, "Thank you for supporting the tour; it was a life-changing experience!"
|"I thank you for a wonderful tour to Japan on behalf of the SFGC! The tour lived up to my expectations and more. I would definitely recommend Classical Movements to someone else. I look forward to traveling with you again!"|
[DR. SUSAN MCMANE, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, SAN FRANCISCO GIRLS CHORUS]
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