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Showing posts from May 26, 2019

More exploring, and a georgian outfit fit for a king

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by Renata Robbins

We kicked off the day with a morning rehearsal in the classic favorite location, the hotel bar garage. We reviewed Akh Ty Step, Ekh Dorogi, and Mitelitsa. The first two were in dire condition, but a sectional helped us along. The T2s are indebted to Connor Wood for his endless help in every song. 



After rehearsal, I went back to my room to get ready for an otherwise free day while the Liturgy Crew remained for their “20 minute” rehearsal. About an hour later, Andrew, Zach, and I left the hotel and set out hoping to go see the Armory in the Kremlin. Sam, Eric, Phil, Connor, and probably some others went to Izmailovo Kremlin and Market, which I saw yesterday, and Connor got a fantastic Georgian outfit which he should probably not wear in his upcoming visit to Georgia.


Izmailovo Kremlin is awesome, like magical gumdrop land part two (part one being St. Basil’s Church on the Red Square). The armory was sold out, so while Zach checked out the architectural complex of the Kre…

Gabriel and James’ Excellent Adventure

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by Gabriel Mesa

I would say this day began at the crack of dawn, but the sun rises at 3 AM in Moscow. A smaller contingent of the chorus managed to wake themselves up after the chaos of the free day that came before. Following the hotel breakfast (a hot dog and eggs with a consistency reminiscent of tres leches cake), the 17 of us were off to the metro station. We groggy travelers made our way through the Moscow underground to the Leningradsky train station, and on our way we admired the intricate and majestic metro as always. Upon arriving, we stood in the center of some stalls while Stepan bought the train tickets to Sergiev Posad. Although we were fascinated by the one dollar book stands around us, the piece de resistance was a KFC stall which was the first thing to catch our American eyes. It really is the small things that make such a big difference. After a brief discussion about the improvement regarding service and food in Russian fast food chains, I remarked that in this momen…

Explorations

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by Ladislav Charouz
After a morning rehearsal, Agata, Andrew, Michael Chang, and I visited the Novodevichy Cemetery. While Boris Yeltsin’s grave – a massive Russian flag made of cement – was difficult to miss, we spent quite a while trying to find Dmitri Shostakovich and Sergei Prokofiev. The sheer number of greats left us starstruck. Not only did we find Shostakovich and Prokofiev, but we also happened upon Rostropovich, Rubinstein, and Scriabin (we were also intent on finding Molotov, Khrushchev, Chekhov, and Gogol, but time was quite scarce).
The sky cleared up as we ventured into the picturesque Novodevichy Convent, but we did not stay too long. For one, much of the complex was under reconstruction, and furthermore, many Yalies are not in the habit of eating breakfast, which leaves them very hungry early on in the day. Upon finishing our lunch, we headed off to Red Square, taking the opportunity to tour a few lavish metro stations. Fortunately for us, the local populace largely igno…

Zaraysk

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by Connor Wood

Today was one of the best days of my life. We woke up early in the morning to board a bus for a little town called Zaraysk, which is almost a thousand years old. It took over three hours to cross the fields and forests that separate Zaraysk from Moscow. When we arrived, the town felt frozen in time. A few of the buildings were wooden and clearly at least a century old; all were no younger than the Soviet period. After a very hospitable lunch, we got a tour of the city’s kremlin—a general term for an old town’s fortress, not just the famous one in Moscow. As I walked through the gate I was struck by how this run-down, beautiful old fortress was twice as old as my country. I wonder what it’s like to grow up surrounded by such ancient things: on one hand, I hope it gives people a sense of the vastness of history and of our small place in it, but on the other hand, it’s easy to get used to what you pass by every day. 

After the kremlin we went a few minutes out of town to vis…

West Virginia

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by Eric Yu


It’s not where we are right now, but somehow it’s a place that none of us can forget. We’re singing this song as we walk back from the Pushkin Lycee, a local Russian high school with a marvelous auditorium, great tea, and girls wearing BTS t-shirts (Fake Love anyone?) (editor’s note: BTS is Korean boy band and “Fake Love” is the title of one of their hits). Alright, forget West Virginia for now. It will come back later. Today we woke up at 8:55am sharp, thanks to some relentless knocking by our very own Zosia Caes. She brought all of us boys to the yard to rehearse in “Bar Garage,” where we ran some of our favorite songs for the concert, including Ekh Dorogi and Little Lamb.
After a quick metro ride and walk, we performed our second concert in Russia. A very cute audience of elementary and middle schoolers greeted us, and we blew their minds with Little Lamb and Brigands. Alaric Krapf made several strange noises, and some girls in the front row laughed loudly during several p…

Formula Za Rulyem

by Malcolm Dickinson
This morning was a sad occasion. After one final deluxe breakfast buffet (including unlimited fresh fruit, custom cooked omelets, and real coffee) we bid goodbye to the Marriott Tverskaya Hotel. Belongings were stuffed into suitcases, garment bags were zipped and carried downstairs, and we turned in our electronic room keys. A bus took us to the Bogorodokoy neighborhood on the northeast edge of Moscow, where we found our new lodgings, a motel called Otel Formula ”Za Rulyem”, on a street of tall 1950s era apartment blocks.
It turns out the hotel takes its name from a car-racing magazine, “Formula Za Rulyem.¨ It translates as “formula one racing ‘by the book.’” The hotel is clean and safe. In every other aspect, it is the exact opposite of the Marriott. Each room is equipped with two narrower-than-twin beds; the strip of floor down the middle is just big enough for one small nightstand. Showers and toilets are located off a common hallway. Add in breakfast in the wind…

Our First Concert

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by Ernie Tucker

Yesterday, Sunday May 26, dawned early for many of us still on US time.  Fortunately, to ease us in, Stepan got us a bus to deliver us to our first concert venue: the marvelous Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, one of the tallest Orthodox churches in the world.

It was built in the 19th century to celebrate Russia’s victory over Napoleon in 1812. In 1882, it was the site of the world premiere of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, but was destroyed by Stalin in 1931 to build the Moscow subway.  Times changed again, and the cathedral was entirely rebuilt and reconsecrated in 2000.


We were welcomed there and given an excellent tour of the whole cathedral and its remarkable museum of church icons. This was followed by lunch in the staff cafeteria and a walk around the grounds. The weather was perfect for seeing sights in the area.

All of this was prelude to a remarkable concert in the early evening, which featured us and a number of other vocal and instrumental groups.  Every one perf…