2018 Tour Stop #8 (part 2): Tokyo and Choshi, Japan

 The Perfect Storm  GIF by Ethan Craigo #237

The Perfect Storm

GIF by Ethan Craigo #237

I was miserable, and I was laughing. We were suddenly sprinting through warm soupy air, struggling to support umbrellas against the heavy howling wind, failing to avoid puddles rippling beneath the falling torrents. We were surprisingly spry given the weight of our nearly distended stomachs, having just consumed a $7 feast of local Okinawan ramen and fried chicken—approximately $1 per pound of food, it seemed. After our mad dash delivered us to our hotel and heavy tropical winds delivered our umbrellas to the junk heap, our feet squished softly in to the beige hotel lobby as we sat down in a soaked stupor to catch our breath. The typhoon had arrived.  

It was the end of break, the night Andrew, Ethan, and I were supposed to fly from Okinawa to Osaka—but instead we found ourselves air-drying in the Beachfront Hotel (actually separated from the water by a highway), near the temporarily paused Naha airport. This night served as quite representative of my entire tour experience; it was a strange coordination of leisurely exploration, momentary discomfort and physical adversity, surrounded by good friends and fueled by pounds of delicious local cuisine—in which I have found myself having some of the most fun of my life. 

 A beautiful Buddhist Temple in Choshi, near a school where we performed.  Photo by Eli Troen #250

A beautiful Buddhist Temple in Choshi, near a school where we performed.

Photo by Eli Troen #250

Two days and one typhoon later, Ethan, Andrew, and I finally made it to Osaka on separate flights (I was required to travel solo to Seoul for a night before flying back eastward to Osaka). I got to spend a day in Osaka, joining the Dins for the rest of Japan, with two days in Tokyo and three days in Choshi. 

Japan was particularly fun for me. All school year I had been eager to return to Japan because I had spent four weeks the previous summer in Japan teaching English. And getting back, I practiced Japanese with taxi drivers and at our performance in Hyogo, in Osaka, I saw two of my host families, and at our performance in Saitama, Tokyo, I saw my other two host families. It was so special to share the Dins, an essential part of the last two years, with them. 

 Conveyor Belt Sushi is a modern miracle  GIF by Brian Rolincik #240

Conveyor Belt Sushi is a modern miracle

GIF by Brian Rolincik #240

One of my favorite nights of tour was in Tokyo when Lee took us to a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, a place where food is delivered exclusively by conveyor belts; the huge belt slithers out from a back preparation-kitchen on one side, snakes between the tables, and recedes into its culinary cavern on the other side. The rules were simple; either grab a plate as it plods by the table on the belt or use the virtual tablet-menu to have plates whiz by and stop obediently next to your table. Once you finish, slide the empty plate into a slot beside the table. At 100 Yen per plate, approximately $1, returning empty plates soon became a game of one-sided air hockey, and the “returned plate” count on the tablet-menu skyrocketed into the 40’s as if the defense had quit. After this highly automated feeding frenzy, we managed to convey ourselves to a nearby Onsen (Japanese bath house), and enjoyed a relaxing evening of steamy baths, nude camaraderie, and mild dehydration. It was truly a memorable evening.

Choshi was a particularly wonderful part of tour, as well, as our hosts and the town went out of their way to make us feel welcome and comfortable. We stayed in a beautiful hotel, with phenomenal food, we visited one of the oldest lighthouses in Japan, and we even got to spend another evening at an Onsen (yes, that nude camaraderie is something special). The Dins have been going to Choshi for a while, and the response that we got after performing there was so gratifying and so wonderful. It was a great way to cap off our experience in Japan.

With Japan as no exception, tour has been beautiful and uncomfortable, like a sunny day that brings oppressive heat and humidity. With enough good food, friends, family and meaningful engagement with art, even a thunderously stressful or uncomfortable experience can precipitate memories of lasting joy and personal significance. Though I might have missed out on a few experiences, I know that the weather is never going to be perfect, so I’ve just got to let storm keeping rolling by…sort of like a plate of sushi ;)

Brian Rolincik #240

 All of the Dins together with our amazing friends and hosts after our final performance in Japan.

All of the Dins together with our amazing friends and hosts after our final performance in Japan.

2018 Tour Stop #8 (part 1): Osaka and Nara, Japan

After an amazing break in Florence, I arrived at the Osaka airport with Kevin and Michael to be greeted at the airport by Lee Selligman, Din #203. Lee is one of our most dedicated alums, and was so generous in showing us around Japan, translating for us, and hosting Dins in his home.

 A smiley and freshly shaven Sam #245!  Photo by Eli Troen #250

A smiley and freshly shaven Sam #245!

Photo by Eli Troen #250

I arrived in Osaka a day early, and had my first authentic Japanese meal: a bowl of hand-made udon with raw egg and tempura. I was so beyond excited to try traditional Japanese cuisine, and the noodles were phenomenal. Michael, Kevin, Syd, and I decided to visit the Osaka castle. Outside of the castle, we met a man who made origami, and he made some for us. If you fold the origami a certain way, it looks like a fish, and if you fold the paper differently, it takes the shape of a traditional Japanese hat. I think it'll be one of my favorite souvenirs from tour!

The next morning, we performed on Japanese national radio at the ABC Radio station in Osaka. In addition to singing two songs from our repertoire, we improvised a jingle for the radio station in Japanese, using part of our arrangement for September by Earth, Wind, and Fire. Later that day, we visited Kyoto, the so-called ‘cultural capital’ of Japan, and went to the Kennin-ji Buddhist temple. Having seen many spectacular cathedrals in Europe, it was a really nice change of pace to view my first Buddhist temple in Asia. In Kyoto, I tried authentic mochi (it’s not ice cream!) and had a fantastic Japanese curry, which is cooked with boiled onions to give it a certain sweetness, in addition to the spicy notes of flavor. I am amazed it hasn’t made its way to the US yet!

 Dinny Dins led by fearless leader Lee Seligman #203 through a peaceful Japanese garden in Nara.

Dinny Dins led by fearless leader Lee Seligman #203 through a peaceful Japanese garden in Nara.

Since Brian, Ethan, and Andrew were stuck in Okinawa due to the horrible storm, we had to give several performances with only 9 members: one at the Keihanna Plaza in Kyoto and another at the Osaka International University. We were able to perform pretty well considering our obstacles, even though I had to sing very loudly as the only T1 present. We learned two new songs in Japan: ‘Hana wasaku’ (an anthem about rebuilding after the Osaka earthquake) and an arrangement of ‘Let it Be’ by the Beatles. It was relieving once the three others arrived before our performance at the Hyogo Performing Arts Center. This was one of my favorite performances of tour, as the hall had very live acoustics and the audience was very receptive to our music and humor. Most notably, we were surprised by the Kwansei Glee Club who performed a set of songs in our honor. The Kwansei Glee Club is known to be the best glee club in Japan, and a group that the Dins performed with on their 2016 World Tour. It was a riveting moment!

 Kevin #244 and his new and dear deer Friend.  Photo by Eli Troen #250

Kevin #244 and his new and dear deer Friend.

Photo by Eli Troen #250

After departing Osaka, Lee took us to Nara, the original capital of Japan. Deer walk everywhere in Nara and are not afraid of people; in fact, some deer will even bow to you as you walk. In Nara, we visited the Tōdai-ji Buddhist temple, the largest free-standing wooden structure in the world, and went to Isuien Garden. I was amazed by the intricacy of the garden, and how the layout of the trees, stones, and buildings highlighted the mountains in the background. There, we also recreated a Japanese tea ceremony, although it was quite abridged (ours took about twenty minutes instead of the traditional four hours). Following our time in Nara, we made our way to Tokyo for our second stop in Japan.

In Dindom,

Sam Rosner #245

 

 

2018 Tour BREAKTIME

Hey, all! A quick message!

In between our European and Asian legs of tour, the Dins take the time to decompress, relax, and explore, with a five day break to travel anywhere we set our sights on! It always comes at a much needed time, when we've all begun to get a bit tired from the non-stop traveling and performing.

This year, Dins travelled to a ton of different places throughout Europe and Asia!

A large group including Sydney, Sam, Michael, Kevin, and Peter went to Italy. While Michael's and Kevin's families came out to Europe for a family break, Sam travelled off to Florence and Peter headed out to Milan.

Also in Europe, Eli, Austin, and Patrick took the time to visit Vienna and Budapest, eating tons of Schnitzel (with vegetarian versions, too!), Sachertorte, and Viennese Wine!

In Asia, Sang-o took the time to completely relax with family in South Korea, also stopping over to make preparations for our eventual stop there, in Seoul!

Brian, Andrew, and Ethan headed out to Japan early to see Okinawa - right in the middle of a massive storm!

Here are some photos below from everyone's breaks! See you soon in Osaka, where we Dins will return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Eli Troen #250

Blog Manager

2018 Tour Stop #7: Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

The Dins are happy to welcome you to Luxembourg, a beautiful little country nestled in the heart of northern Europe! We spent about four days in Luxembourg City just after the summer solstice, and were captivated by the city's picturesque walking streets and medieval fortifications and bridges.

A gorgeous 18th century clocktower, standing high over Luxembourg.

Photo by Eli Troen #250


We came into the city by train in the early afternoon of June 22nd, at which point we split off into our accommodation groups and relaxed for a bit. Kevin, our Music Director, stayed with his family, who had come to the city to meet with him, while the rest of us were in two Airbnbs fairly distant from each other. That first night was our busiest of the stop, with two gigs right in a row. It made sense. This night was one of the most important holidays in Luxembourg: the eve of the country's National Day.

 A group of Dins outside the Grand Ducal Palace on National Day.  Photo by Ethan Craigo #237

A group of Dins outside the Grand Ducal Palace on National Day.

Photo by Ethan Craigo #237


A brief aside: National Day is the day on which the birthday of the Grand Duke or Duchess of Luxembourg is ceremonially celebrated, regardless of which particular date it might fall on. The night before is one of the craziest of the whole year, in which thousands upon thousands of people pour into the streets of Luxembourg City to drink and be merry. To be honest, this night is more or less the reason that the Dins travel to Luxembourg!


Our first of the previously mentioned two gigs was at a bar and restaurant called Brasserie Kennedy. It was a small but appreciative crowd in a gorgeous, modern space. We barely had time to catch our breath after it, though, before we had to rush to our next performance at the Cercle Munster. There, we sang multiple short sets of songs in between courses of our own delicious dinner. This gig was notable for an improvised version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" that we performed at the request of one very enthusiastic audience member. It was not the finest the Dins have ever sounded, but it sure was some great, silly fun.

 Dining Dins at the Cercle Munster.

Dining Dins at the Cercle Munster.


After all this, we left and hurriedly changed out of our tails and into evening attire. I ran to find a good vantage point to see the spectacular National Day fireworks show, which I remembered as one of my favorite parts of the last Din tour. Some other guys joined me a bit later, and we all met at a bar in the center of town to talk to a member of the Harvard Club of Luxembourg, who bought us a round of drinks from a man he called "the finest bartender in the country". He wasn't kidding - I'm still trying to figure out how to recreate my delicious gin-cilantro cocktail. From there we went out to dance in the dozens of parties in streets and clubs for hours afterward. It was a night to remember.


The next two days were mercifully free of scheduled events. Many of us, including myself, used them as an opportunity to decompress. Others took the rare opportunity to travel to other destinations in Europe for a day trip. Peter went straight back to Paris, and Eli and Austin traveled to Brussels!


Our last responsibility of the stop occurred on our final evening in Luxembourg City. We performed at a private gig for members of the Harvard Club and their friends and family, hosted at the former president's house. His family's beautiful backyard made for another nice and intimate concert. From there we said our goodbyes to each other, as this was the last time we'd see each other before Japan, and split off into homestays for our last night together in Europe. Tune in next time to find out how we spent our few days apart!


Dinnily,
Ethan Craigo #237

2018 Tour Stop #6: Paris, France

*in heavy French accent* Bonne journee et bonjour, welcome to the place du pan au chocolate, des croissants, et vraiment boucoup de vin.

During our time in Paris (pronounced pear-ee), the Dins were certainly living la vie en rose (coincidentally, a song which we slid into our sets a few times, for the wonderful Sydney Mukasa #234 to serenade our francophone audiences in their own tongue!) 

 A gaggle of Dins outside the Centre Pompidou.  Photo by Eli Troen #250

A gaggle of Dins outside the Centre Pompidou.

Photo by Eli Troen #250

Hosted by some gracious individuals from the Harvard Club of Paris, we stayed for about four days in the beautiful City. As far as sightseeing, from the Musee de’Orsay to the Sacre-Coeur on Montmarte to the Louvre and Sainte-Chapelle, we saw the sights and heard the sounds from edge to edge of Paris, as much as we could see in the few days that we were there.

 A photo of the floor-to-ceiling stained glass in Sainte-Chappele.  Photo by Eli Troen #250 

A photo of the floor-to-ceiling stained glass in Sainte-Chappele.

Photo by Eli Troen #250 

Our highlighted performances in Paris were definitely those at the Travellers’ Club and a joint performance at the Church Notre Dame du Travail as a part of Fete de la Musique with a Basque choir whom we’ve performed with on tours past. In the former, we performed for a small audience in a sitting room sort of setting, which always gives that up-close-and-personal sort of vibe, where you get to single out audience members and create an individually-cultured experience for each person. For the latter, the joint performance with the Basque choir, we sang a couple songs jointly in Basque, which was a load of fun. Learning new music and singing in different styles is always a welcome learning opportunity, and it shows us how far we’ve come in just a year of singing together, when we can work up songs in just a day or two. After our performance for Fete de la Musique, we shared an evening at a Basque restaurant, where the two groups traded songs and merriment over traditional food and drink. For dessert, we were all treated to some Gateaux Basque, a miraculous almond custard cake served with berry jam!

We also had the chance to make a short excursion over to Chantilly (pronounced shan-tee) to perform for a fundraiser for their local church, Saint Peter’s. This fundraiser was to kickstart a new initiative to renovate the stained glass, as the church celebrates its 100th anniversary. The performance in Chantilly goes down as one of my favorite of tour so far, and I’m sure will be one of the treasured memories years down the road. We performed en plein air, in a private garden theatre overlooking a beautiful pond and perfectly preened gardens. During our performance, some peacocks were calling to one another across the stage, sounding like screaming youngins, and to the amusement of all performers and audience members present, one wandered onto our stage during the performance of our song What a Wonderful World

 Dins Eli, Austin, and Sydney taking inspiration from Lime Statues.  Photo by Sam Rosner #245

Dins Eli, Austin, and Sydney taking inspiration from Lime Statues.

Photo by Sam Rosner #245

After the peacock was gently shooed away, another approached from the other side and thought about following suit, but it reconsidered and left us to finish our set. Never would I have expected to have a performance in the Dins to be interrupted by a peacock, let alone two! We actually added a cameo performance of Brian Rolincik #240 giving his best peacock imitation during a round of Din Impressions. Pulling off-the-cuff humor like that into our performances, and the ability to adapt that we’ve developed, as a result of our comfort with one another on stage, is one of my favorite parts of being in the Dins. Not only does it provide the tools to manage crazy situations during performance, but it also just makes being on stage so fun for all of us..

During our last night in Paris, a few of us Dins spent the night along the Seine River, watching passerby and chatting into the early morning--a phenomenal way to bring our sixth stop to a close.

Adieu, Au Reviour, Bonsoir, or as they say in Paris, un autre Américain?!

Austin Lentsch #246

2018 Tour Stop #5: Strasbourg, France

Hi everyone! My name is Pat Moran, and I’ll be talking about our visit to Strasbourg, France.

After spending a wonderful week in Switzerland, the Dins took a train from Zürich to Strasbourg, connecting through Basel. Upon arriving in Basel, we learned that we had only two minutes to make our train to Strasbourg. So, we took in the sights and sounds of the city, as we frantically sprinted through the station, suitcases and garment bags in hand. Luckily, we all made it onto the train without a second to spare!

We arrived in Strasbourg in the afternoon of June 13th and enjoyed a nice meal with our hosts at the home of Molly Tennis, our contact and biggest fan in Strasbourg. Afterwards, we accompanied our hosts back to our homestays. Sam and I had the pleasure of staying with Sarah and Michael O’Connor and their two daughters. Sarah worked at the Council of Europe and Michael headed European sales for a nanotechnology company. Sam decided to call it an early night, while I stayed up talking about European politics with Michael.

 The towering Strasbourg Cathedral in the city center.  Photo by Eli Troen #250

The towering Strasbourg Cathedral in the city center.

Photo by Eli Troen #250

Seeing that we had a free day, Sam and I took the opportunity to sleep in before meeting up with the other Dins and exploring the city of Strasbourg. We saw the Strasbourg Cathedral—although we didn’t climb to the top—and enjoyed a wonderful lunch nearby. After spending the day in the city, Sam and I headed back to our homestay to freshen up and rest a bit. One of the best parts of Alsace-Lorraine is the food, and we made sure to enjoy this unique regional cuisine during our time in Strasbourg. That night, all of the Dins met up at a local restaurant to enjoy an Alsatian specialty, tarte flambée, which I can best describe as a flatbread pizza topped with cheese, sliced onions, and bacon cubes.

The next morning, Friday June 15th, we had a tour of the Council of Europe courtesy of Eli’s host, Isabella Pilavachi. In contrast to the European Parliament, the Council of Europe is not endowed with any powers, instead acting as a purely diplomatic organization. That afternoon, we met the US Consul General to Strasbourg, Kara McDonald, and toured the US Consulate General building. In the evening, we performed at the College International de l’Esplanade with the Sunday Afternoon A Cappella Choir, an extracurricular a cappella choir inspired by the Dins’ performance on our last world tour.

 Dins being...well, Dins at the US Consulate in Strasbourg.

Dins being...well, Dins at the US Consulate in Strasbourg.

IMG_0911.PNG

On the next day, Saturday June 16th, many of the Dins chose to go to Colmar, a picturesque example of Alsatian architecture. Sam and I, however, chose to stay in Strasbourg on Sarah and John’s recommendation. That night, we had our biggest concert in Strasbourg: a joint performance with the Strasbourg Philharmonic Choir. The concert venue was special, a former Cabaret and space not normally available to the public. Thanks to the work of the US Consulate General, the French military agreed to let us perform in the space.

 Biking through the lovely French Countyside, looking forward to some Crémant.  Photo by Kevin Kearns #244

Biking through the lovely French Countyside, looking forward to some Crémant.

Photo by Kevin Kearns #244

After our big concert, many of the Dins were ready for some rest and relaxation. On our last day in Strasbourg, our prayers were answered, and we were generously hosted at a countryside manor for an unbelievably fun, all-day pool party featuring ample Aperol Spritzes and an inexhaustible supply of Crémant.

Best,

Pat #239 

2018 Tour Stop #4: Wohlen, Switzerland

Hello everyone, this is Peter Chang, Din #242, writing about our seven magical days in Switzerland.

Our fourth stop was Wohlen, Switzerland, a municipality in the Kanton of Aargau, less than an hour’s train ride from Zürich. It was the longest stop in the tour so far, a total of 6 nights and 7 days, and yet it was also the stop with the most packed daily schedule, as well. We stayed with the students of the Kantonsschule Wohlen, a gymnasium (like a Pre-College School) founded in 1976.

We arrived at Zürich Airport on the afternoon of Thursday, June 7th, where we were greeted warmly by KJ, an English teacher at the Kantonsschule Wohlen, who has been helping the Dins with our Switzerland stop. After a brief train ride, we stepped onto the beautiful town of Wohlen, where we met the first class of students in the English-immersion class with whom we would be staying and spending time for the first three days.

That afternoon, we were treated to a barbecue party in front of the school's campus, and we played volleyball and a Swiss game called Kubb, or Viking Chess, that involves throwing sticks to knock down the other team’s sticks, until the sun set and our legs were too exhausted to move.

 Dins Peter #242 and Brian #240 with host Sina.

Dins Peter #242 and Brian #240 with host Sina.

Brian and I stayed with a student named Sina Gisler. Her parents showered us with Swiss chocolate gifts, which we dutifully nibbled to show our appreciation--who am I kidding? We proceeded to stuff our faces with the chocolates. The Swiss really do know how to make their chocolate.

 Delicious Luxembourgli Macaron  Photo by Peter Chang #242

Delicious Luxembourgli Macaron

Photo by Peter Chang #242

The next morning, we woke up earlier than I’d ever woken up to go to school, at around 6 am, to follow Sina in her lengthy daily journey involving several train and bus rides to school. We participated in the “Up Close and Personal with Dins” for the students, where we combined singing with presentations about ourselves. Afterward, we had a more formal performance in the same auditorium and then went on a small excursion to the Straw Museum with the class. We hung out with the students in a bar afterwards, where we were introduced to several unique drinks, including one that involved inhaling the steam of a shot of vodka.

Next day, as Sina had to teach a swimming lesson, another student named Lionel Zingg brought Brian and me around Zürich for most of the day. Zürich was a very interesting city, where the historic buildings stood side-by-side with modern buildings harmoniously. We tried the most delicious macarons I’ve ever had at a store called Sprüngli and had the most stimulating conversation with Lionel, who wants to become a politician, about differences in politics and educational systems of Switzerland and America.

That evening, we had a big performance at a concert hall in Oberwil-Lieli, after which we bid farewell to the first class of students and were introduced to the second class of students with whom we spent time for the remainder of our stay in Switzerland.

The second student I stayed with was named Pascal Ziegler, who became my very close friend over the next few days. We went back to Zürich the next day with fellow Dins Eli and Patrick and their hosts to attend the Formula E, a racing championship using only electric-powered cars. It was a historic event in Switzerland, as it was the first circuit race in Switzerland for over 60 years. Although none of us was particularly enthusiastic about car races, we soon caught the tangible excitement that flowed through the air and had a great time!

 All of the Dins at the top of the Pilatus Mountain.  Photo by KJ

All of the Dins at the top of the Pilatus Mountain.

Photo by KJ

The next day, we went up the Pilatus Mountain in Lucerne. We took Pilatus Railway, Europe’s steepest cogwheel railway, up to the peak. The view from up the Pilatus was breathtaking, and we were sad to be coming down after a few hours. Afterwards, we went to the local glass museum, where some of the Dins participated in glass-blowing.

The next day, we caught a train to Brunnen, where we visited a girls’ school. After another set of “Up Close and Personal” and a short performance, we visited the town with some of the school's students, where we made our own Swiss army knives and did a tasting tour of Kirschwasser, a liquor made from Cherries, at the Kirschwasser museum. Out of all the Dins, Brian was especially enthusiastic about the taste of the liquor. Underground, in the Kirschwasser cellars, we noticed how echoey the space was and took the opportunity to sing Danny Boy -- and boy did we sound good.

Scroll through to see some of Switzerland's natural beauty!

Photos by Eli Troen #250

The next day was our final day in Switzerland. During our final lunch in the Kantonsschule, we bid tearful farewell to all of the students. Thankfully, a number of students will be visiting Harvard in September, including my host Pascal, so we will get to see some of these wonderful people again in a couple months!

With our hearts full and our bellies even fuller with chocolate and fondue, we stepped onto the train to depart for our next stop, Strasbourg.

Signed with Din-k,

Peter #242

2018 Tour Stop #3: Dublin, Ireland

Dia duit! Or, for those who don’t speak Irish, top o’ the mornin’ to you! Dublin was the Dins’ third stop on World Tour, and although we were only there for a mere 36 hours, it was a delightful place. The Dins have not been to Dublin in almost 20 years, so the stop seemed like a brand new one for us!

 A fun, pub-filled street in Dublin with an even fun-er Music Director.  Photo by Sam Rosner #245

A fun, pub-filled street in Dublin with an even fun-er Music Director.

Photo by Sam Rosner #245

The Dins arrived on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 5th, to a somewhat confusing scenario regarding our Airbnb. Once the minor hurdle was sorted out, though, the Dins relaxed and rested for a while. Our previous stop in London was rather packed with daily excursions and gigs, so it was good for all of us to take a few hours and kick back.  All of us then headed into the city, soaking in the sights and working up an appetite by wandering around. After thoroughly exploring the main drag, we all went to get dinner at the oldest pub in Ireland, the Brazen Head. When the food came, it made sense why the pub had been thriving since the 1100s. The traditional Irish stew I had there was perhaps one of the top three meals I’ve had on tour so far.  Though I didn’t have, the others took the opportunity to get some Guinness, Ireland’s most Irish beer - though even that seems to sell it short, from what I was told. After the wonderful experience, the guys split up, some going back to the Airbnb to sleep early, others continuing on to explore.

 A photo of the towering Dublin Castle.  Photo by Eli Troen #25o

A photo of the towering Dublin Castle.

Photo by Eli Troen #25o

The next morning was a late start for most. I got up earlier than everyone, hoping to attend a Catholic Mass in one of Dublin’s beautiful churches, and as I was getting ready to go, Sam got up and decided to join me. Together, we went into the city, and after the Mass, we explored for several hours. We walked through St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Christ Church, the latter of which was where the first performance of Handel’s Messiah took place. We also checked out Dublin Castle, strolled through St. Stephen’s Green, and explored the campus of Trinity College Dublin before heading back for our performance. Everyone got in their tails, after reconvening from various daytime expeditions through the city, and headed off to the gorgeous Trinity College Chapel.  

 The Dins rehearsing for our Dublin performance in the stunning Trinity College Chapel.  Photo by Kevin Kearns #244

The Dins rehearsing for our Dublin performance in the stunning Trinity College Chapel.

Photo by Kevin Kearns #244

After a few warm-ups in the resonant space, we thought we would further promote our new stop’s gig by doing pop-up performances in the heart of the city. We strolled over in tails to the Temple Bar area, a major tourist hub, the Molly Malone statue, and finally the Trinity College Plaza, singing short sets in each to reel in interested people. The tactic was quite effective (a security guard even had to stop us!), and the pop-ups were one of my favorite memories of performing on tour so far. The gig at Trinity Chapel itself was a great deal of fun, too. There was something truly special about singing Danny Boy in Ireland. A high school friend of Sam’s was among the crowd at the gig, and she and one of her friends joined us for a late dinner at Davy Byrne’s, home of “the best pint of Guinness in Dublin”. It was a great final night out on the town, and shortly after, the Dins made it back to pack. We had a painfully early wake up call at 4:15am to leave for our flight to Zurich, but I couldn’t help but be thankful for a terrific stop. It was new for the group, new for almost all of us individually, and we only had a day and a half, but we managed to have a terrific time exploring and a successful gig! Who knows, maybe we’ll be able to spend even more time exploring the beautiful isle of Ireland next tour. Slán Go Fóill, or goodbye for now, and see you in Switzerland!

Cheers,

Kevin Kearns #244