This day was much anticipated as it was "Outlet Shopping Day". However, before the girls could spend their hard earned cash, there was work to do, starting with a music exchange with the California State University.
California State University
This was an interesting mix that brought together our "college" students - i.e. secondary school level - with their "college" students (university level) so there was an immediate age difference. Their group ranged from 18 to 72 years of age.
It was a very warm and connected exchange with both choirs interested in learning about each other's style, technique and, on a personal level, countries. They were particularly impressed with our facial expression, deportment and movement (in our songs involving Maori dance).
The standard was high from both choirs and our girls gave a very good account of themselves.
It was quite poignant that our exchange took place in the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Centre. The girls were surprised to learn that one of the songs in our repertoire, Sing (Sing a Song), was a hit song for Richard and Karen Carpenter (of Carpenters fame).
The university provided a lovely lunch for us and then it was on the bus again bound for Citadel Outlet Centre. The girls couldn't get there quickly enough.
Citadel Outlet Centre
There isn't much more to say about the shopping other than:
the girls had fun
no one got left behind
the girls were free to do their own shopping so we cannot vouch for what they'll bring home :)
All too soon, it was on the bus again to our next exchange with Claremont High School.
Claremont High School
As we approached the school, there were two students holding large posters emblazoned with "New Zealand Choir" so we knew we'd arrived at the right location. They were soon joined by other students as they escorted us to the auditorium where we were to perform together. The choirs, again, greeted each other with genuine warmth and friendship - further validation that music is the universal key that unlocks the door to people's hearts.
But, first, they fed us .... really well. We were treated to another meal of spaghetti (meat and vegetarian) with lots of add-ons like salad, garlic bread, soft drinks and dessert. There was certainly no reason to go hungry here.
There wasn't much opportunity to learn or teach songs to each other but the joint concert went really well and our girls, once again, gave a good account of themselves. Their choir and director were particularly mesmerised by our embodiment of Maori waiata and culture in our repertoire.