Wednesday, June 18
We have arrived at Bern!
Before leaving France, the Madrigals said goodbye
to their French hosts.
Upon arriving at Bern, we stopped to meet a local
guide who gave us a coach and walking tour of the
city. The city of Bern was named by its founder
Duke Berchtold V of Zähringen in 1191. Upon
embarking on his first hunting expedition in the
city area, he decided the city would be named after
the first animal he killed. This unfortunate animal
happened to be a bear which translates to Bern.
At its start, the city's buildings were made mostly
of wood until a fire in 1405 destroyed much of the
city. After the fire, the city was rebuilt in a
mediaeval architecture using sandstone quarried
Since Bern was named after the bear, there is a
bear pit as you enter the city which houses a number
After the bear pit, we stopped by the Bern rose
garden which is filled with blooming roses and has
a beautiful view of the city--a great place to take
After the rose garden, we visited a number of buildings
and Bern landmarks.
Following the tour, we checked into our hotel. Cindy
attended the festival pre-opening ceremonies. This
event is attended by each of the choir directors,
Elwyn Raymer, Paul Leddington Wright, and Sir David
Willcocks among other festival planners and staff.
Cindy with Paul Leddington Wright (far left), Sir
David Willcox (right of Cindy) and FestCorps President
Elwyn Raymer (far right).
Opening ceremonies started with a group picture
of all of the festival attendees in front of the
beautiful Munster Cathedral. We all then participated
in an opening service inside the cathedral and were
treated to the Munster Choir and the Munster's huge
All of the choirs went to the Helvetia for the festival
welcome banquet. Two choir members from each attending
choir are seated with two members of four other
choirs for dinner at one table. Introductions and
gifts are exchanged and presentations are made.
A number of the Madrigal girls were asked to model
the festival scholarship items available for sale
during the festival. Melissa is modeling the beige
official festival T-shirt, Katie is modeling a sporty
blue festival polo shirt, Allison gives us the smart
looking purple festival polo shirt, Sharon is wearing
the festive and bright rose festival polo shirt,
alumni Valerie is in the sophisticated black festival
polo shirt, Lindsay and Liz are holding little Bern
teddy bears, and Leslie is accented by the official
festival shoulder bag.
Upon returning from the banquet, we were greeted
by Greg and Carol who are joining our tour just
after their recent honeymoon!
with Host families
by coach for Bern
Attend the opening ceremonies
of the International
Church Music Festival,
including the welcome
concert and banquet