This page will develop as stories and photographs arrive.
With bags packed, passports stamped and a farewell party at the school the Concert Chorus, their parents, chaperones and invited guests made the final preparations for their Triennial International Tour. Plans for the tour began three years ago with the inception of our unique 10,000 Conductors Program, designed specifically to support our chorus on tour. Donald Morris, choir director worked with Contemporary Tours and the Departments of State in Buenos Aires and Santiago to plan the tour. Today represented the culmination of these efforts. Each day we will post a short narrative with photos and comments by the students and the adults
Day 1 March 7, 2019: Packing, loading and plane ride (14 hours) Newark International Airport to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Brian, Brenda and Don review the final preparations prior to leaving NBCS.
Wearing their official gear blue jump-suits and NBCS red polos the chorus readied for departure. For most its the first time on a plane and, certainly, the first time to Argentina and Chile.
Their thoughts before leaving:
The boys were so full of joy as they prepared to say their goodbyes to their parents/ guardians and take their much anticipated journey for the international tour. The following are some of the thoughts about the journey the boys shared with me as we talked prior to their departure,
Sakiyyah Darden (parent)
"This is the first time I am traveling outside of the country. This is a new experience for me and I am excited to share this with my NBCS brothers."
Luis Rodriquez (8th Grader
"I feel like this is a wonderful experience to have at such a young age. Many children don't get to experience this and I am grateful. I look forward to making memories."
J'Corey Smith (7th Grader)
"I feel nervous to be going on the International Tour as a new student, but I give thanks to God to be able to go on this trip. It is really cool to have this experience. It is such big difference from being here and public school. I love this school!"
Jose Ramos (6th Grader)
"This is a great experience. . . to travel an experience another country. I think this trip will really make a difference. I think it will bring us all together. as brothers."
Jeff Torres (8th Grader)
Day 2 March 8, 2019: Welcome to Argentina! Arrive at Hotel Loi Suites Esmeralda. Lunch at a local restaurant. Transfer to the Norbridge School to meet students and perform a short concert for teachers and students. Group dinner this evening.
Delay in departing, as one of the plane's generators had to be replaced. Once airborne, though, the flight was rather smooth and sleep-inviting for all!
The delay wasn't without its consequences, though, for on arrival in Buenos Aires we had to head straight to a school to perform, before having lunch. ...young men were good sports about this, and actually were rewarded with some of the best pizza they said they've ever had!!!
Then off to the hotel ...then dinner ...now taking showers before bed! Tomorrow, a lot of sight seeing!
Day 3 March 9, 2019: After breakfast private South City Tour. Visit Plaza de Mayo, the historical and political center of the city; San Telmo with its cobblestone streets and its famous Antique Market and La Boca where Buenos Aires turns colorful and tango is ever present.
DM--Buenos Aires is all that it promised ...and more! The sightseeing and well-delivered narrated tours have been exciting and thorough! The boys have been engaged, listening and responding to our guide's very engaging presentations.
The food has been awesome ....we don't need to see anymore beef, steaks, or ribs for a long while! :-)
One great highlight of Buenos Aires is the world-famous Teatro de Colon, considered the best opera house in the world! The boys were able to sit in the theater and watch a lighting rehearsal for the soon-to-open production of Rigoletto (opera by Verdi). Following the guided tour the Concert Chorus offered an impromptu concert on the steps of the grand staircase.
Teatro de Colon
Historic statue gallery
Teatro de Colon
Teatro de Colon
Grand Staircase performance
“Of course, we have had our spontaneous rehearsals, and perform for the people. It’s our way of saying thank you for their hospitality and graciously accepting us in their country.” Luis Rodriguez, Grade 8
Day 4 March 10, 2019: Visit the North City Tour and appreciate the Aristocrsatic Recoleta Cemetery, the “Floralis Generica” metallic Sculpture, the Rose Garden, the Lakes of Palermo, Palermo Soho area and Plaza Serrano with its hip culture. In the evening the group will experience an unforgettable dinner and Tango performance.
“We has just finished reading about Eva Peron as part of our ELA Tour assignment, so this was an experience that brought what we learn to life. Being here had an impact on me, and I’m grateful that I am able to experience this with my brothers.” - Juan Oquendo, Grade 8
Metal Flower Sculpture Buenos Aires, Argentina
Un lugar donde las personas se encuentran. Descubrir, crear, investigar, pensar y sentir. Porque del encuentro de personas con ideas interesantes y sensibilidades distintas surgen cosas maravillosas.
Day 5 March 11, 2019: Depart for Pilar and the local school to performance for the students and invited faculty.
Day 6 March 12, 2019. Welcome to Mendoza, Argentina. Activities include a tour of the city, lunch at a local restaurant and an evening performance at the Jesuit Church in Mendoza.
DM--EARLY MORNING FLIGHT…Some sightseeing ...with everyone struggling to keep awake!
Day 7 MARCH 13, 2019. Potrerillos, high in the Andes. Today the students will perform at the Norbridge School and visit El Dique Potrerillos for several outdoor sports activities such as Zip lining down long steel cables high above the ravines of the Andes.
Day 8: March 14, 2019. Travel via bus from Mendoza to Santiago. On the way a short performance at Puente del Inca. Check in at the Hotel Nippon in Santiago.
Day 9: March 15, 2019. Sightseeing throughout the capital including the Hildago Castle, Santa Lucia Hil, Constitution Square, the palace La Moneda, the Plaza de Aramas, and the Royal High Court. After lunch visit the Chileno Norteamericano de Cultura where there will be a special performance at the US Embassay.
DM— We've been very fortunate to have, yet, another wonderful guide, Cristobal, who has been on top of all arrangements, mindful of the boys, and so eager to share his wealth of knowledge with us all.
Later, chorus performed at the Chileno Norteamericano de Cultura for an enthusiastic audience.
Day 10: March 16, 2019. Santiago sightseeing continues with a visit to the Parque Bicentenario, the National Zoo, and the Selva Viva Museo. In the afternoon the Chorus will travel to the Santiago Cathedral to prepare for a performance prior to evening Maass.
Santiago Cathedral Appearance
Preparations and Performace
Day 11: March 17, 2019. Travel to the Vina Del Mar—the picturesque garden city with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. The City has been declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site,
Day 12: March 18, 2019. Vina Del Mar. Our Newark- based group will enjoy a day at this Pacific Ocean beach!
Concert Chorus at the Pacific Ocean in Chile
Day 13: March 19, 2019. Transfer to Santiago de Chile International Airport for the flight home.
Day 14: March 20, 2019. Newark, New Jersey, Welcome Home!!