Roller Coasters, The Little Mermaid, and More!
As the Lufthansa airplane landed at the Copenhagen Airport, I was glad to arrive at my destination after two flights over a distance of 4,500 miles during the last 12 hours. I was on a 16-day concert tour with the Concert Choir of the Georgia Boy Choir (GBC) to Scandinavia, and, among other places, Copenhagen, Denmark. Every year, the choir tours to a different place every summer; for example, we traveled to England last year to become the Choir in Residence at Oxford Cathedral and Wells Cathedral.
This year, the Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir invited us to give a concert at the Copenhagen Cathedral, the same way that the GBC had invited them to perform in Atlanta a month before our tour. We would stay in the homes of their boys, much like the way they had stayed in our homes when they were in the United States. I couldn't wait for this unique opportunity and was so excited to be able to spend four days in the beautiful city of Copenhagen.
Copenhagen Cathedral, where we were asked to perform, is the national cathedral of Denmark and is a lovely, neoclassical church with a seating capacity of more than 1,100 people and a bell tower containing both the largest and oldest bells in the country. Measuring 83 meters (272 ft) in length and 33 meters (108 ft) in width, the church had great acoustics, causing all of our notes to echo much longer after being sung. We adjusted to the space during the three hour rehearsal in preparation for our concert. The conductor of the Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir said to us after listening to the rehearsal, "You all were very good." This was an excellent comment from the conductor of such an outstanding boy choir.
But our tour was not just a musical experience. It was also a fun one. The choir visited Tivoli Gardens, perhaps the most famous amusement park in all of Europe. The park contains many different mechanical rides for all ages, pleasure flower gardens, a Chinese styled Pantomime Theater, a concert hall, and numerous restaurants. Opened in 1843, it is still one of the most visited amusement parks in Europe and the most visited in Scandinavia.
My friends and I tried out several rides one afternoon, including the world's tallest carousel, the Star Flyer; the short but back-breaking Demon Roller Coaster; the exhilarating and fast paced Dragon's Tail; and finally the infamous Vertigo, in which riders can control a plane that loops around and spins wildly in the air. Coming off of the Vertigo, I heard a fellow chorister say, "That was the best ride ever. Even better than the ones at Six Flags!"
Another must-see attraction the choir visited was the Little Mermaid Statue, based on the fairy tale icon from the story of the same name written by Hans Christian Anderson, who was Danish. Although only 4 feet tall, the statue has become a symbol of Denmark, and was even moved to China to be displayed at the Denmark Pavilion during the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
For all three nights I spent in Denmark, I stayed in the home of August, a boy that I hosted when his choir came to Atlanta. He was very smart, great at singing, and excellent at speaking English. We loved doing things together during these few days including watching TV, playing on the trampoline, playing catch, and simply just talking to each other. I learned a lot about life in Denmark and found out that it really isn't too different from life in America.
Yet the best experience of all in Copenhagen was the concert that we gave at the Copenhagen Cathedral the night before we left. We sang songs from a dozen countries around the world in several languages including Latin, German, Russian, Czech, Chinese, and English. We prepared for a year in order to sing these songs, and performing them was as equally rewarding as seeing the audience's appreciation for our singing. Our voices serenaded the audience for more than two hours, and we received a long standing ovation from the huge crowd.
Sadly, the next morning it was time to leave Denmark to continue the tour in Norway, and August and I said farewell to each other. I will miss him and the gorgeous city of Copenhagen and the country of Denmark as a whole, but I know that I could not have spent four days in Denmark in any better way. Singing there during this unforgettable concert tour was definitely the experience of a lifetime.
—Kid Reporter Andrew Liang
Photo: Kid Reporter Andrew Liang on the streets of Copenhagen. (Courtesy Andrew Liang)