Our "Camino de la Musica" Comes to an End
As a senior in the Glee Club, today was not not the last day of our tour in Spain, but the end of my final tour as a member of the Glee Club. And, I couldn't have asked for a better way to end this journey.
We started off the day with an early breakfast at our five star hotel. We had fresh fruit and lots of coffee to ensure we were awake and ready to explore the beautiful concert venue we were to perform at later in the day, the Monastery of Saint Martin Pinario. We trekked through the rain to the beautiful monastery.
After an hour-long rehearsal, some members of the Glee Club were led on a tour of the monastery while others set out in search of souvenirs and Santiago's Abastos Market. While in the market, I happened upon a lovely vinoteca and was able to pick up some local wine. (Seriously, everyone should try an albarino from Galicia at least once!!)
At noon, about 50 members of the glee club descended upon a jazzy little restaurant in the market, Restaurante Abastos 2.0, which served amazing traditional razor clams and large prawns. Gabriel was on first name basis with the owner, Nadal, who opened the restaurant early so that we could try this Galician dish. To thank them, we performed an impromptu rendition of Precious Lord.
To top off our lunch hours (in Spain lunch is 2-5pm), the entire choir headed to the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela for an indoor picnic, since the rain canceled our original picnic plans. Full on finger sandwiches, sausage, cheese, and bread, we then headed back to the hotel for a free afternoon. Some of the members braved the rain and went into town to explore.
However, most of us decided to take advantage of our five star hotel amenities and get our voices ready for our final performance by using the steam room and sauna. I have to say it worked quite well. We also had fun swimming in the pool as well.
With our free afternoon complete, we met in the lobby to head back to the monastery for our concert. After a quick warm up in the hallway, we walked out to the altar, where the priest of the monastery gave a wonderful speech about our "Camino de la Musica" from Bilbao, to Burgos, Leon, and finally Santiago. Referring to the previous day, when we walked the final leg of the pilgrimage from the summit of Monte de Gozo, the priest called us pilgrims on the path of music, summarizing our journey here to Spain, and our journey since arriving.
The concert was a brilliant end to this tour and will be one I never forget. As we started the end of our song Santiago, when we sang "we have walked out of our lives..." I couldn't help but feel so lucky to have had this experience and so moved by the music we had made. In 17-part harmony, we walked off the altar into separate chapels to surround the audience as we sang the final three minutes of the song (like we have done with each concert). But being in Santiago, across the square from the Cathedral of Santiago, and it being my last tour concert, there was just something truly special and magical about the ending of this song.
We finished the night in a classic Princeton way with a few locomotive cheers for the Glee Club, our directors and our couriers at a farewell dinner at one of the nicest restaurants in all of Santiago. I couldn't have asked for a better way to end my final tour with Glee.
Thank you to all of you who have followed our journey on this blog and thank you to all of you who have supported the Glee Club. This tour and the past four amazing years with the Glee Club wouldn't have been the same without your help and support.
- Jenny El-Fakir '18
Images courtesy of Anna Dong '20, Margaret Li '19, and Jenny El-Fakir '18