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Germany tour bonds Fresno choral group

As a member of the Bach Youth Chorale in the Bach Children’s Choir, Rachel Quiring, ’13, was granted an opportunity to travel to Munster, Germany, Fresno?s Sister City, Jun. 16. Not only was she able to visit this historical city but she also got the chance to visit cities in Belgium and Spain with her family. The trip was almost three weeks long and filled with various memories.

Quiring has been involved with the Bach Children?s Choir for nine years. Her choir takes a “big, international” trip every four years. In 2006, the Bach Youth Chorale went to the 250th birthday of Mozart in Austria. She notes that her time in Munster was a great opportunity to meet students from a different country.

“We had an exchange with a school [in Munster] called the Gymnasium Paulinum, which is kind of like a music school,” Quiring said. “We stayed with students who go to school there and we had a couple of concerts together. They hosted us and showed us their city.”

Quiring had been planning on taking part in the trip for quite some time, mostly due to the fact that her mother, Valerie Quiring, is the Artistic Director of the Bach Children?s Choir and the Director of the Girls Youth Chorale.

“I love having my mom as the director,” Quiring said. “She?s great and really knows what she?s talking about. All of the kids in the Youth Chorale look up to her like a mom so I?m not that different. Her nickname is MamaQ.”

Valerie Quiring found that the choir’s trip to Munster was a helpful learning experience for the students who participated. She believes this trip widened their viewpoints on the world.

“I think this was an incredible experience for our students,” Quiring said. “I think they learned a lot about people from a different culture, their different perspective and traditions. They also learned that they are not really that different from us.”

Quiring also thought the trip served as a bonding experience for the students and noted that Rachel has stood out as a leader in the choir.

“I loved watching our students interact with each other and truly bond and deepen their friendships,” Quiring said.”Rachel has become a leader in the choir and I think the other kids look to her both musically and socially. Since she has travelled abroad before this trip, she was able to provide reassurance and confidence to the other kids who were traveling to a foreign country for the first time.”

Compared to other international trips she?s been on, Rachel Quiring enjoyed this trip because she had a set purpose for her trip: singing with her choir. This trip served as a good bonding experience for Quiring?s choir.

“We just became this really, really tight eleven-some,” Quiring said. “It?s the perfect amount of kids that we could all hang out and be released by the adults to hang out in the town by ourselves. But it was still enough kids to split apart and do different things and be in different groups. We got really close, and it was so much fun.”

To prepare for the trip, Quiring had to fundraise but the choir worked together and she received help from choir fundraisers.

“The choir will host an event and the money earned goes toward the trip,” Quiring said. “Sometimes they give you a certain thing to sell but a lot of the fundraising you actually do yourself. You had to be in one of the top two choirs and qualify.”

Another student who went on the trip and also an FC alumnus, Jessica Massie, shares how the trip had a positive effect on her.

“This trip to Germany and Belgium was life-changing,” Massie said. “It really opened my eyes to new cultures and perspective on the world. This trip has inspired me and challenged me in ways I never thought one experience could.”

Massie also noted that Rachel Quiring played a big part in the excitement and learning on the trip.

“Rachel was a huge part of my trip experience,” Massie said. “We joked that we were never more than ten feet apart for the whole ten days. She was my roommate in Germany with the Gehrmann family, and we were bus buddies for every excursion. Rachel was my sanity check and she kept the choir in check as well. We all rely so much on each other that without one person we would fall apart. But I know without Rachel I would have been lost.”

Quiring?s family did experience some complications while on the trip. After visiting San Sebastian, Spain, there was a complication with the flights and the Quirings missed their flight from Madrid, Spain back to Los Angeles.

“We only had a 30-minute layover between our flights in Madrid,” Quiring said. “We had to change terminals and get our luggage, and we had negative an hour to do it. We ended up staying at the airport Hilton.”

Quiring noticed similarities between Fresno and Munster. She describes Munster as a beautiful city with an interesting history.

“Everything is just so old,” Quiring said. “It?s beautiful. There?s a long promenade, and the main part of town is just beautiful. There are medieval buildings and big churches. I think about 95% of Munster was completely decimated in World War II. Some things were built exactly how they were and other things are totally new. Everything is so different, even though it?s kind of a nothing town like Fresno. It?s strange how the town was so different, but still the same.”

For more information on Bach Children’s Choir, contact Valerie Quiring.

For more features, read the Sept. 5 article, Scharf introduces hoecakes to classes.

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  • C

    Carson BelmontAug 17, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Good Job Coop! Taking after your older brothers!

    Riverside, CA

  • P

    Phillip BelmontAug 17, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Wow! Great article as usual. Great job, boys. Cooper, you are amazing. Keep up the good work ethic; it always pays off in the end.

  • K

    Kathy BelmontAug 17, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Way to go Coop, perseverance with character! The entire team has been a joy to watch…God gets the standing ovation….

    “Grandma K.”

  • C

    Cooper BelmontAug 17, 2012 at 12:04 am

    The Feather staff is amazing! Thank you guys so much for all of the love and support! Such a big help. God Bless

  • L

    Laura CasugaAug 17, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Congratulations Cooper! Thanks for representing Fresno Christian so well!