Last night we went to the hotel de ville for a concert of the youth choir and orchestra of the Music Conservatory. Not only am I a student of the Conservatory (one of the two choirs I sing in is based from there) but my niece was singing and playing last night, so there were a lot of people I know there, in addition to family supporting my niece. On the way in we met up with the other anglophone in my choir and her husband, and the four of us made our way into the building.
After climbing a grand staircase, we were ushered into the salle de fete, which was, without a doubt, the Frenchiest room I've ever been in. It looked like someone plucked it out of Versailles and dropped it here. The ceilings were easily 100 feet high and the room was quite long. It was decked out in French blue and gold curtains, marble columns on the sides, beautiful parquet floor under our shoes.
The youth choir performed first, and they sang beautifully. This is not your typical school performance, my friends; these kids will make careers out of music, and they showed it last night.
Then the 40-odd piece orchestra took the stage. Since the first time I heard my niece play the violin I cried like a fool, I should not have been surprised that she was the concertmaster! The acoustics in the room were unbelieveable - they produced a gorgeous, full sound, and yet a soloist was able to sing with them without a microphone and be heard. Again, these kids will most likely make careers with music (especially my niece, who will have her professional debut next week!), and the repetoire was nothing to slouch at.
It was really a wonderful evening and I'm so happy that I've found this fantastic community of music in my new home!