|Saturday Nov. 17
*11 AM checkin at San Francisco International Airport
Sunday Nov. 18
* 6 AM checkin at Miami airport. 9 AM flight
to Havana: Continental #4880, arriving 10:05 AM.
Monday Nov. 19
Morning visit at the Garcia Caturla School of Music for an exchange
Tuesday Nov. 20
* Morning Chorus rehearsal
Wednesday Nov. 21
Morning departure to Matanzas (1.5 hours by bus). This city is an important
port and an area rich in African tradition.
Thursday Nov. 22
Depart on a 4 hour ride to Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage City, and
one of the seven founding cities of Cuba.
Friday Nov. 23
This was a day off from our busy schedule.
Saturday Nov. 24
Depart on a 3 hour drive to Ciego de Avila.
Sunday Nov. 25
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
Monday Nov. 26 through Sunday Dec. 02
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
PM to Miami
The final cost of the trip was:
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.