Well . . . the last two songs, really.
We were the last group to perform in the gala concert tonight. I wish everyone at home in the USA could have heard our group and observed the audiences response following our two songs: "Star of the County Down" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands."
It was magic. Ashley will probably be able to describe it better, of course, but the crowd just went crazy after both of those songs. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful year of singing.
The Irish crowd was already buzzing about "Star of the County Down" when they heard it announced as one of our selections before we sang. Uncharacteristically of me, to be sure, I addressed the crowd and dedicated the piece to the wonderful people of Cork . . . . for their kindness, their hospitality, and their food! (they've provided wonderful snacks and refreshments at every concert).
The choir sang with unbelievable energy and zest. Their faces were alive and their bodies were moving (in appropriate ways, of course).
Several people told me that we got the best response from the audience of the entire evening . . . and that is saying a lot considering that we sang at 10:30 when the concert began at 7:30.
We've been told by more than a few people that they thought we were going to win the competition. We weren't surprised by those comments . . . we thought so as well! We'll work through our thoughts and feelings as we digest the experiences here.
One thing is for certain . . . we will come back a stronger choir . . . with more members who know the thrill of competition and striving for excellence.
The Liebau piece (Whole World) was a perfect way to end the year. The choir sang with huge volume for the last few words and I really didn't want to cut the last chord off . . . I knew it was the last note we would sing in an official concert . . . . the moment was as precious as it was powerful.