*** World Harmony Chorus ***


VI Festival Internacional de Coros, Santiago, Cuba

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2001 Performance Tour and Cultural Exchange

November 17 - December 3

Havana, Matanzas, Trinidad, Ciego de Avila, Santiago de Cuba

Saturday Nov. 17
Miami

 *11 AM checkin at San Francisco International Airport
    Depart SFO on AA #442 at 12:55 PM.  Arrive Miami at 9:00 PM.
 * Overnight at Best Western Hotel  (305) 871-2345
 * Redistribution of donations/supplies in luggage.

Sunday Nov. 18
Havana

 * 6 AM checkin at Miami airport.  9 AM flight to Havana: Continental #4880, arriving 10:05 AM.
 * Lunch at seaside restuarant
 *  Check-in at Deauville Hotel  011 (53) (7) 33-8812
         Galiano y Malecon, Centro Habana
  Evening reception at the modest home of Jorge Padron, an Afro-Cuban Babalao
    (spiritual leader), with an Afro-Cuban dance presentation

Monday Nov. 19
Havana

Morning visit at the Garcia Caturla School of Music for an exchange of
   performances and experiences with the students and faculty.
Lunchtime trip to the fishing village of Cojimar.  This village was the locale for
   Hemingway's novel, The Old Man and the Sea, and where he moored his
   fishing boat Pilar.  Lunch at Las Terrazas, one of the writer's favorite
   haunts (cost of $10--$12).
* Afternoon performance, workshop, and cultural exchange with Choir Vocal Leo
   at their venue in the Gran Teatro de la Habana.  Evening social with them
   at the hotel pool, after a chorus rehearsal.

Tuesday Nov. 20
Havana

* Morning Chorus rehearsal
Afternoon workshop with Novel Voz, a Cuban a capella group, on Cuban
   vocals and harmonies, as well as their unique style of vocalization, in
   their rehearsal space at the Teatro Nacional.
Dinnertime lecture by Olavo Alén Rodriguez, Ph.D, renowned authority on
   Cuban music, on the various musical styles found in Cuba.

Wednesday Nov. 21
Matanzas

Morning departure to Matanzas (1.5 hours by bus). This city is an important port and an area rich in African tradition.
Morning cultural exchange in Jovellanos, an 18th century palenque
   (refuge for self-liberated slaves).  We visited the Barro family, an extended
   family of Arará heritage who follow Regla de Ocha.
Afternoon performance with musicians and dancers of "Afrocuba", one of
   the region's principle folk ensembles.
Check in at hotel in Varadero (the Villa Tortuga was damaged by the
   hurricane).

Thursday Nov. 22
Trinidad

Depart on a 4 hour ride to Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage City, and one of the seven founding cities of Cuba. 
Visit the historical museums and the Kongo Cabildo de Congos Reales,
   originally founded in 1787.  Cabildos are the social community organizations
   permitted by Spanish slavery but transformed by AfroCuban slaves using
   West African identity understandings of  nation.
Check in at Hotel Costa Sur  011 (53) (419) 6172

Friday Nov. 23
Trinidad

This was a day off from our busy schedule.
Several people went out on a fishing boat and had a fresh lobster dinner on
   board!  Others went snorkeling or visited friends in Trinidad.
* Afternoon Chorus rehearsal
* Surprise - Thanksgiving Dinner  (thanks, Laura!!)

Saturday Nov. 24
Ciego de Avila

Depart on a 3 hour drive to Ciego de Avila.
Visit to Baragua, an English speaking community which protects and
   celebrates its West Indies traditions, including cricket and maypole dances.
   Their immigration to Cuba was part of the fruit and sugar agricultural
   development of the early 20th century.  There are several such communities
   in Cuba, serving as examples of how humans resist external cultural influences
   through the use of language, music, dance, and religion.
Check in at Hotel Ciego de Avila  011 (53) (33) 28013

Sunday Nov. 25
Santiago

Depart Ciego de Avila, short stop in Camaguey, a city with a well-maintained colonial center (one of the seven cities founded in Cuba in the 1500's).  Lunch in Bayamo.  Arrive in Santiago in the early evening (about 6 hours driving).
Check in at Hotel Las Americas  011 (53) (226) 68-7225
        Ave. de las Americas y General Cebreco, Santiago de Cuba
* Evening Chorus meeting and rehearsal

Monday Nov. 26  through  Sunday Dec. 02
Santiago

We participated in the VI Festival Internacional de Coros, along with 30-40 choruses, mainly from Cuba.  There were numerous concerts throughout the week, each featuring a few of these choruses.  We had chorus rehearsals (two hours every morning), encuentros with other choruses, local performances, attendance at festival concerts, and spent the rest of the time meeting and visiting musicians, artisans, and other interesting people.

The climax of our week was the final evening concert in the festival, at the Sala Dolores (the Cuban equivalent of Carnegie Hall).  The World Harmony Chorus performed a one-hour concert, followed by the Coro Nacional de Cuba.

On Sunday, all of the choruses performed one song each at a large public concert in the Heredia Theater.  In the evening the festival culminated in a great outdoor celebration where all the choruses performed in the streets.

Monday Dec. 03

* 10 AM check-in for American Eagle #9228, departing 1 PM to Miami
* connecting to AA #69: departs Miami 5:10 PM, arrives Dallas 7:25 PM
* connecting to AA #1753: departs Dallas 8:51 PM, arrives SFO 10:42 PM Dec 3
 

Cost

The final cost of the trip was:
 

Group 1/1A:  Saturday Nov. 17 - Monday Dec. 3  (full trip) $2600
Group 2:  Saturday Nov. 17 - Tuesday Nov. 27  (first week only) $2125
Group 3:  Saturday Nov. 24 - Monday Dec. 3  (Santiago only) $2125

Costs were based on double occupancy. Add $15/night for a single room.

Everyone was also be expected to sell 10 raffle tickets ($10 each)....or come up with an alternative way to raise $100 for the scholarship fund. The raffle and other fundraising events provided a few thousand dollars in excess of the scholarships, which were used to underwrite additional trip expenses.

Participants budgeted about $100 per week for lunches and miscellaneous expenses.  Also, there is a $20 airport tax you must pay in cash upon departure from Havana, and a $50 departure tax from Miami.