Hello from beautiful Iwai, Chiba Prefecture. I am here with 39 members of the Rikkyo University All Saints Chapel Choir for our annual spring choir camp. We normally enjoy calm days to enjoy walks on the beach during our rehearsal breaks. This year, though, we have tortured by a hell of angry winds every since arrival two days ago. I have never seen the likes of this continuing wind storm. It howls through the windows, shakes the building, and blows sand from the beach all over the town. I took a walk this morning and wound up with a sandblasted face. My reward, though, was ample – views of Tokyo Bay with violent swells and whitecaps.
Morning walk views:
In the afternoon the wind was even more maniacal, producing these views. Remember, this is a protected bay within Tokyo Bay that usually has very little wave action.
Excitement aside, rehearsals are going well. The choir comprises only 1st and 2nd year students at this time of the academic year, but even so, we have a well-balanced group of nearly 40. I am enjoying working on the coming semester's rep with the students. A few of the pieces we are working on include:
- Gregorian chants for Easter
- Palestrina: Exsultate Deo
- Bach: Awake thou wintry earth (an arrangement of a cantata movement)
- Noble: Magnificat & Nunc dimittis in B Minor
- Howells: O pray for the peace of Jerusalem
- Bairstow: The king of love my shepherd is
Of course, staying at Minamo-so, a minshuku, or facility aimed toward student groups like ours, means three wonderful meals of fresh fish, vegetables, etc. a day.
Tomorrow afternoon is free, so I am hoping these howling winds die down so those of us who brought bikes (only me, actually) can get out and ride along the coast. Pray for calm seas!
(a wind-damaged shed in the village)