Edmonton Swiss Men’s Choir Europe Summer Concert Tour
The unexpected passing of our friend and first tenor singer David Leigh overshadowed our summer concert tour. On June 29th, David succumbed to a heart attack at the Kantonsspital Uri in Altdorf. A memorial service was held on July 1st at the hospital chapel. We greatly miss David and will remember him as a very dedicated member, events director and quartermaster.
Our concert tour started in Zürich and lead us through central and eastern Switzerland to the South Tyrol. We performed at official venues, competitions, choral festivals and impromptu get-togethers. At every stop, we experienced heartfelt reception and Wiedersehen with the choir friends whom we had visited on previous tours. The highlights were the joint singing performances with these choirs in beautiful churches and concert halls.
It all started off with a warm welcome by our friends, the Männerchor Rieden from Wallisellen at the airport with coffee and ‘Gipfeli’. At the Innerschweizer Gesangsfest in Cham we were among the ones receiving the highest mark. In Engelburg our host choir, the Männerchor Engelburg, billeted us for the sixth time. In Parpan we were invited to a most extraordinary lunch. In Zernez we sang with the choir Viril di Engiadina Bassa. At the International Choral Festival in South Tyrol, we sang among other stunning locations at the alpine hut Rifugio Rudi south of Sesto at an elevation of 1,950 m. The goal of this festival is not to rate the 87 international participant choirs (there was one other Canadian group – a Ladies choir from Newfoundland), but to let the choirs listen to each other in different settings. It provided a unique and fruitful exchange between different music cultures. In San Candido, Italy, we represented both Switzerland and Canada as we participated in the choir parade. At the end of the parade the Mayor greeted us.
After the choir festival, the choir was invited to take part in the filming of a short scene in the town square, which will be aired next year on Italian TV RAI.1 as part of the soap opera ‘Un passo dal ciele’.
Back in Switzerland and after a brief stop with the Jodelklub Seerose for a nice barbecue with casual singing, we were welcomed once again by our loyal friends from Wallisellen. The wonderful apéro on the rooftop, the delicious dinner with singing and entertainment and the joint July 1st concert in the packed church were another unforgettable highlight of our tour.
We thank all our host choirs for your unparalleled hospitality to make this our most memorable concert tour. Please come and see us in Edmonton!