We had a pleasant day with grandson David. I shopped at the supermarket while David and John got haircuts. They came back for me in time to go through the checkout and chat with Laura, our favorite cashier. Late in the afternoon, we ate barbecue sandwiches on the way to Asheville, and a number of people will be glad I didn’t stalk the family with my camera. There was one picture-worthy moment, sadly unrecorded. David filled our cones with free soft ice cream, swirling the ice cream to make it three times taller than the little cone. The last time I tried that, I had to catch the top with my fingers.
We don’t find Asheville to be a user-friendly city, so we went quite early to get a parking place. The reward was a free spot in the church parking lot. We were at the Basilica of St. Lawrence to hear the touring choir of Valparaiso University. David was eager to hear them, because he has been in the tour choir of his college. For him, this was a busman’s holiday. Having nothing more to do, the camera took David’s image at point blank range for a rather lethal shot.
The acoustics of the basilica were amazing. The round building, lined with tile, magnified sounds. The first piece was from Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610. It was surround-sound, with the singers standing all around us. The loud, sustained chords were enough to make our senses reel. As the choir moved about the building, I noticed the students were wearing soft shoes. There were no clicks or taps on the floor, only a low hum as they walked. I was surprised that the footsteps filled the space with an undefined musical sound.
The choir was fantastic. All the music was done from memory, aside from one piece sung from the balcony. I took one quick photo, and only one, so as not to embarrass my men. As the applause began after the last piece, David was about the third person to stand up. We gave that choir a standing ovation that lasted until they filed out.
I loved David’s enthusiasm. We talked about the concert all the way home. The fellows mentioned individual singers that I hadn’t even noticed. We felt the choir was superior with dynamics, diction, animation, and precision. What a winner! David longed to hear the choir again in South Carolina. He compromised by playing YouTube videos for hours after we got home. (Search for Valparaiso University Chorale on YouTube)