Carly Grimes, a recent Pine View Graduate, has sung in the auditioned youth choral group Sarasota Young Voices for the past three years. Each year, Sarasota Young Voices takes a tour in the summer time. For nine days, beginning June 22, Sarasota Young Voices Chamber choir, a 14-woman ensemble, went to Paris — the first time the group, founded in 2007, has traveled overseas. Grimes recounted the group’s trip; here’s what she had to say.
What was it like leading up to the trip?
I think we started feeling a lot of pressure as we got close to it. There was a lot of music to learn … we had 10 add-on rehearsals to our (standard) 2.5 hours every Saturday morning. It motivated us to learn a lot.
Tell us about Paris.
Oh my goodness! Paris was amazing. It was the best trip I’ve ever been on. Our chamber choir got really close, and we formed a lot of new friendships. We did so many things together: climbed the Eiffel tower, climbed the stairs at (Sacred Heart Basilica of) Montmartre, and sang in beautiful cathedrals. Singing at Notre Dame Cathedral was the highlight of the trip — I think that was the highlight of all of our musical careers at this point. The sound was incredible; it echoed for 10 seconds after we stopped singing. We always aim to sound like one voice as a choir, and I think that’s the closest we’ve ever come.
Aside from singing concerts at Notre Dame and the American Church, we hear there were a few impromptu performances.
They were kind of the best part … We toured the opera house and went to the lobby where there are these huge marble staircases. We started singing one of our favorite songs. Everyone in the whole opera house stopped when we started singing and took pictures and videos … That was another one-voice moment. It was one of the biggest audiences we ever sang to, probably 150 people. Tour groups were refusing to continue on their tours until we were finished singing.
What other tourist stops did you make?
We went to the lock bridge. It’s where people on honeymoons and lovers write their name on a lock and lock it to the beautiful bridge. It’s supposed to seal your love forever. We got a lock and signed it to seal our sisterhood there.
What were some of the favorite things you ate?
My favorite thing was the macarons — it’s different from a macaroon. They’re these little cake things. I’ve never tasted anything that good in my entire life. I also ate a lot of smoked salmon there. We got to experience different culture and way better food.
What will you miss most when you head off to college this fall?
Definitely the friendship. We spend a lot of time together. I woke up at 7 a.m. every Saturday — no sleeping in — to rehearse with them. I’m going to miss all the girls I’ve become very close with the past three years. For anyone thinking about joining, it’s very inclusive and everyone is really friendly to each other. They have become some of my best friends.