Forty-six students across the Dulwich College International network spent the first two weeks of July travelling around Austria for the 13th annual Dulwich College International Vienna Choir Tour. Notably, this is the first year Dehong students have participated in this programme.
The students began their journey sightseeing in Vienna, before heading to Klagenfurt to sing at Sekirn, the summer residence of the world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir. They spent two days there, rehearsing with the Vienna Boys Choir and being led in workshops by Dr Gerald Wirth, the President and Artistic Director of the choir. Their time in Serkin ended with a concert, where our students performed with the choir, clad in Dulwich uniform. Many locals attended, including the Mayor of Rabenstein!
The next day, our students travelled with the Vienna Boys Choir to Pielachtal. On the way, they drove through Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart, where the students learnt all about the famous composer.
Once at Pielachtal, our students spent an idyllic six days singing, composing their own music, running around and enjoying nature, including making wooden boats and racing them down a local stream (with Dr Gerald as the judge!). During this time, the students formed friendships across the Dulwich family of schools and with our hosts in Austria.
The tour ended back in Vienna, where our students performed in front of a paying audience at the magnificent St Stephen’s Cathedral as part of the Sing Mit! choir festival. Before the big concert, they spent an intensive two days rehearsing with professional singers and the orchestra. Our teachers were proud to see the students push through fatigue and the challenges that came with learning new music, as they were the youngest participants in the choir festival.
It was a very memorable experience for the students to be immersed in a culturally and musically rich environment. They were especially impacted by being taken seriously as musicians and performers, which helped each of them mature and develop their artistic confidence. Looking forward to next year!
The most memorable moment for me was going on the Mozart tour in Salzburg, going to the market, and performing with the Vienna Boys because the teachers taught us a lot of new things. My musical skills improved over the trip because I learnt how to project my voice more. I also made a few friends on the trip. I would go on the trip again, and would recommend it to people who want to improve their singing. - Kai P
It was fun to learn new songs and dance while we sang and making new friends. I learnt to be more confident when I perform. - Kevin T
My highlight of the Vienna Tour was performing my own composition with other students and paddling in the streams. I really enjoyed the craft activities and made a necklace for my mum. - Kitty J
We had an incredibly enriching experience this summer. It was a joy to hear the students singing in harmony with such beauty and watching them grow in confidence as they made new friends and improved their singing and musicianship skills together. - Mary Giles, Music Teacher at Dulwich College Suzhou