Today was a wonderful culmination of the music-making we have done as we shared our music and message with the people of the North Central States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Last night and this morning we had a little free time to visit places in the city. It is a beautiful place. We marveled as we drove into town on our buses, through St. Paul and then into Minneapolis. What a busy place this is! There are beautiful parks and parkways we walked through and many beautiful museums and churches.
A group from the choir visiting the sculture garden
I went with a small group of choir members to visit a modern art garden that we were told was “not to be missed” when visiting Minneapolis. The beauty and intricate planning that went into the organization of the park were immediately evident. We enjoyed the wonderful cool weather, and there was no rain on this day during a period of many weeks when there has been much rain in this area this year.
Spoon and cherry representing the sculptor and his wife
I went with my roommate, Cal Simmons, to visit a few of the beautiful churches we could see in the area.
Basilica from the bridge over the freeway
The Hennepin Avenue church has a large beautiful steeple that is very appealing. They have a beautiful art collection we looked at and a comfortable large sanctuary made of stone and wood, with a beautiful 4-manual tracker pipe organ in the front.
Pipework of the tracker organ in the Hennepin Church
Services at this church must be very enjoyable for their parishioners at this lovely location. We also visited the Basilica of Saint Mary just a few blocks away from the first church. It is over 100 years old and is said to be the “Pope’s church” or the place he would visit should he come to the city to visit with the people of his faith. This spacious building was also very well taken-care-of and beautifully lit.
Organ console in the Basilica of Saint Mary
The organ is a 4-manual Wicks instrument with a large console near the front of the building, which plays the pipework in the front corners and the center of the front of the building, both areas of which are behind that large altar area that is seen from the congregation and thus not immediately visible from a seat in the building. I asked about recordings of the instrument and was told that none were available at this time. The acoustic of this beautiful building must certainly be very complimentary to the sound of the organ. These was a lovely representation of the beautiful sights to be seen in the city.
Me and a few of the men from my section in the last concert
The concert went very well tonight and was a lot of fun for us. The audience was greeted by someone from Minnesota Public Radio who indicated that it had been 22 years since the choir had been in Minnesota and asked the audience to take the pitchs he gave and have them sing “welcome back” in 4 parts, making a c-major chord. Their simple welcome was beautiful and delightful to us! The large crowd was very enthusiastic and responded readily to our music. The guest conductor at the end was a man who is some kind of professional musician, who won an a written contest sponsored by MPR. He wrote that 30 years ago when he was 2 years old their family had visited Sat Lake City and were going to hear the choir perform, but he was behaving badly and caused