Montreal, here we come!

I am currently on the road with my Leo Hayes High School students.  We gathered at 6am this morning in order to hit the road by 6:30.  That was early!  I must say that I really enjoy a good band trip.  I was at least as excited as the kids, especially since I went to university at McGill.  This is a trip back to a familiar city!  A lot of the trip was quit quiet since we were all still tired, but there was that fantastic buzz of excitement that you get when you have 29 high school students headed off on an adventure.  I love the drive along the St. John River Valley.  There is some fantastic scenery. I also enjoy the scenery once you cross over into Quebec as it reminds me of all the trips to McGill.  My aim was to knit a complete sock on the way to Montreal, but as you can see, I failed.  Close, but not quite!

We arrived in Montreal by about 4:30 local time.  This gave us time to settle into our new home in downtown Montreal.  We were able to spend a bit of time outside just hanging around as well as unpacking and moving in.  Given the location of our accommodations, we were able to walk to dinner and then walk to St. George’s Church.

I live in the middle of nowhere and sometimes see moose near my house.  Image my surprise to see two in downtown Montreal!

Ok, so they weren’t real moose…  But they amused me none-the-less.

The big excitement of the day was getting to go to a concert by the Swingle Singers.  As a matter of fact, that is why we had to get up and leave so early in the morning!  I was really excited about this concert as I always enjoy a cappella groups.  I was surprised that every time I told someone we were going to hear the Swingle Singers that I got a blank look in return.  This is a group that has been around since the 60s, although the current singers are not the original members.  The concert was amazing!  It was actually part of the Festival Musique de Chambre Montreal.  (www.festivalmontreal.org) We were greeted by the organizer of the festival, Denis Brott, and granted VIP entrance to St. George’s Church.  None of the students had heard of the Swingle Singers before, but they were entranced by the concert.  The music and harmonies were great, and I always love good beatboxing: these guys can make the sounds of a drum kit with just their voices.  Highlights of the concert included Corelli’s Concerto Grosso No. 6, Rimski-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.”  I love baroque music, the Rimsky-Korsakov was just plain cute, and the 1812 was a lot of fun with the sound of canons and the house lights flickering.  If you have never heard this group, you should check them out at http://youtu.be/CZo1_BDn8Ew.  This is a clip of the Rimsky-Korsakov.

We have now returned to the dorms, and the children are all in their rooms.  Time for me to pack it in too.  All in all, I must say that this has been a very successful first day to the trip.

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