190712 Etc WW Choral Society rehearsal July 8 by Gary Hemenway.jpg

Members of Walla Walla Choral Society join a rehearsal for the Paris Choral Festival, held in L’église de la Madeleine. The Roman Catholic church is positioned in the eighth arrondissement of Paris.

Ahhh, Paris in July. Thirty-five members of Walla Walla Choral Society flew to France to sing in a choral festival concert, according to artistic director Gary Hemenway.

Leaving on July 2, they arrived the following day in the City of Lights/La Ville Lumières, so named because Paris is among the first cities to have electricity.

Their ultimate goal: to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and liberation of France during the Paris Choral Festival July 2-9, under the artistic direction of Dr. Gary Schwartzhoff.

Prior to the finale performance, choirs journeyed to nearby Normandy, site of the June 6, 1944, Allied Invasion, for an Independence Day choral remembrance and wreath-laying at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

The festival featured works by Dan Forrest, Fauré, and more that honored the occasion, and culminated in a grand musical commemoration for those allies who fought for freedom during the world invasion.

The group’s itinerary included a stop in Rouen to see the Roman Catholic Rouen Cathedral. Joan of Arc was executed there and the church’s elaborately articulated west front was captured several times on canvas by artist Claude Monet.

In addition to participating in a wreath-laying ceremony on July 4 at the American Cemetery, they visited Point du Hoc, site of the World War II Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument.

On Friday there was a half-day guided tour of historic Paris, including Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Place de la Concorde, Luxembourg Palace and Gardens, Latin Quarter, Place de la Bastille and other sites.

An artistic tour of Paris on Saturday included visiting the Louvre art museum and a concert rehearsal. 

Sunday was a day of leisure and rehearsal.

Monday included a morning dress rehearsal, a farewell dinner and the evening Paris Choral Festival performance in L’église de la Madeleine Roman Catholic church.

Departure was Tuesday when many headed to Charles de Gaulle Airport for the return flight.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.  

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313. 

Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,

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