Submitted by Azalea Ginete
Bienvenidos! It is fall right now, but Concierto de Berano was an exciting trip to remember.
My group of seven girls together with Ms. Janell and our parents left for Spain on June 10th. We were in Europe for 2 weeks but time flew fast. The 12 hour time difference made us tired when we arrived in the town where Señora Brenn and her family live. Most of the girls stayed at her house while Mom, Dad and I stayed at a hotel a few miles from away. We practiced every day at Senora Brenn’s house.
We had to practice intensely for 2 days since our first concert was on June 14th at the Iglesia de los Padres with the Suzuki school Orchestra. Oh, it was so much fun to play with other kids! We felt united in our music – playing together in unison our Suzuki pieces – from Andante to Glissando Waltz, to Two Guitars … it was awesome! It was also a fond reunion for the group to see the Brenn family again. They played their harps and cellos too. They were very nice and gracious hosts. Our first concert started late, close to 9:30 pm and we got home close to 11:00 pm!
In Spain, after the siesta, people eat late, like 8-9 pm and because there is still sun at 10 pm, things slow down after midnight. You have to stay in the restaurant for 2-3 hours to enjoy the food and take your time, otherwise you will offend the waiter and restaurant owner.
Our 2nd concert was on June 17th at the school. The Auditorium was full and we played with the school orchestra. Señora Brenn played her cello too. Not a lot of people know about Suzuki harp lessons with Señorita Ana Maria Reys, so it was a good exposure for other students to listen to the harp and welcome them to harp lessons.
In between concerts and after our two concerts, we toured Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo and Segovia. My family and I explored Barcelona on our own for 3 days. It was helpful that Mom and Dad speak a little Spanish; we got around quite well. I have a growing appreciation for the Spanish culture after 2 summers of language camp and now that I am taking formal Spanish lessons.
We walked a lot, rode the subway, the tour bus and the bullet train. Oh boy, was it fast and comfy!
The food was very good – I ate a lot of gelato, churros with chocolate and tasted many kinds of jamon! Ha.. Ha.. I drank Limon all the time. I even found my own street in the pouring rain – Calle de la Azalea! Of course, Dad had to take a picture of that.
We ate paella at the Plaza Mayor after touring Palacio Real, saw the paintings of Goya, Velasquez and Picasso – up close and personal at Museo del Prado.
We were in awe when we watched Ballet Flamenco, Gaudi’s work, the Olympic compound in Barcelona and to see the world renowned Palau de la Musica Catalana.
The countryside was breathtaking as we went to Toledo and Segovia, and the weather picture perfect (80-85 degrees and not humid). The Alcazar Castle was majestic as well as the Aqueduct that the Romans built and of course, the Cathedral in Toledo was so pure and beautiful. You can just sit there and be silent and just soak up its beauty.
Music is so much fun and Europe was great! Playing my harp is like playing with the angels.
Azelia Ginete (my name in Spanish, said my Spanish teacher)