Day 3 - Singing and Sauna

June 26, 2019 | EnsTour Blogger

This morning began with breakfast with our homestays — eggs, toast, cheese, watermelon, yogurt with blueberries, and more. Much of the food is locally sourced and all of it is delicious. Kimiye and Ruth made daisy crowns after jumping on the trampoline in their homestay’s backyard.

We gathered at Savutuvan Apaja this morning for rehearsal and sauna time. This retreat space on a lake is comprised of historic buildings brought from central Finland. Some are set up to show how farmers lived in these wooden structures in the 19th century with furniture, looms, and kitchen tools on display.

Ensemble and Vox Aurea rehearsed the joint piece they will be performing, “Crossings” by Eric Tuan, with a break for a lunch that included local salads, well marinated chicken, delicious veggie patties, and local breads. The afternoon included a couple hours of free time to explore the space and to enjoy the three saunas, a quintessential Finnish experience. After some time in the smoke or steam sauna, most singers would jump into the cold lake to get their adrenaline pumping. Anne expressed her love for the cold shock and followed the instructions of our Finnish hosts by repeating the cycle of sauna then swim. Some of the members of Vox Aurea gave a special folk concert with violins, piano, and bass — the rest of the group lead the PEBCC singers in a simple group dance that wound around the room.

Showered and exhausted, we all separated to have a nice dinner with our host families. Hopefully tonight is an even easier sleep than yesterday’s!


Heather Saulnier