The Choral Exchange of The (Re)Mixed Choir of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium in Wohlen, Switzerland

Joint conducting and singing forces

The exchange of the Kantonsschule in Wohlen and The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium was a huge success in every aspect – musical, academic and getting to know the Swiss way of life. Both conductors Walter Siegel and Helena Fojkar Zupančič are the most deserving of respect and praise for the outstanding organisation and uplifting the spirits at all times. The following two reports one by Klara, a Slovene choir singer and the other by Mr Seigel, both adequately reflect the ambiance of this joyous event.

“As a member of the (Re)Mixed Choir I had a chance to visit Switzerland from February 25th to 29th 2024 during the exchange with the school Kantonsschule in Wohlen. All Slovenian students stayed with Swiss host families who generously let us be a part of their family for a few days, making us feel at home away from home. Besides sightseeing, visiting a medieval church and climbing a snowy mountain, we spent a lot of time with the Swiss students and really got to experience life the way they live it in the picturesque Swiss countryside. I was paired up with another girl from our school that I had only known the name of prior to the tour, but grew really close to immediately.

On the first day, our host family welcomed us as if we were old friends and we  experienced more unforgettable memories with them every day. We also got to meet other Swiss hosts and Slovenian singers we hadn’t known before. The family dinners, late night talks and game nights filled me with such content and gratefulness for being so lucky with the family that had been chosen for me. During the day, we had many rehearsals with our choir and also together with the Swiss one, all in preparation for the big last evening concert. Being in the front row while singing, I was able to observe people’s reactions to our performance and I saw how taken aback they were by our energy, as well as our choreography and the type of music we brought with us. The acoustics of the church only enhanced the experience and together with the audience’s praises after the concert left an imprint in all of our hearts. Having enjoyed such a fulfilling experience, I can certainly say I will cherish the memory of it for a really long time. And to anyone deciding whether to join an exchange: definitely do, you will not regret it.” /Klara Gaberšek, year 4/

Walter Siegel, the conductor of the Swiss Choir, collected memories of the exchange by writing the following: “The past few days have been filled with joy, music, and camaraderie. Your singers brought an incredible energy to our community, and it was an honour to host them and share in their musical talents. The concert was a huge success and we earned a lot of credit for it here in Wohlen. That will immensely help us to implement future music projects. Thank you! I believe music has a unique ability to touch hearts and create lasting impressions, and I’m thrilled that our collaboration has left such a positive impact on everyone involved. The dedication of everybody involved and hospitality played a significant role in making this experience unforgettable. It’s been a pleasure working with all of you and hosting your talented singers. I too hope our paths cross again in the future.” /Lily Schweiger Kotar/