So the Clef Hangers reached out to the secretary office for Grímsson and scheduled a time to meet with the president at 7 p.m. the same day.
“It was a spur-of-the-moment thing, but at the same time, it was one of the coolest experiences we could’ve had while we were on this trip,” Burrus said.
Burrus said he was amazed by how welcoming Grímsson was — an Icelandic tradition.
“He said that the nation runs on the idea of trusting one another and welcoming guests into the country and households,” he said. “Trust will be given unless there is a reason for it not to be. We thought it was all so cool because everything finally started making sense.”
First-year Robert DeGolian, who soloed in the Hangers’ performance of James Bay’s “Let It Go,” said he didn’t see this opportunity coming.
“When trying out for the group, I never thought that I would ever have the opportunity to, first off, have a solo, and second off, sing for people as important as the president,” DeGolian said. “It’s pretty incredible.”
Sophomore Clef Matt Goldman said he enjoyed Iceland’s laid-back atmosphere.
“Everything just seemed so lax in terms of security, and the atmosphere was just very calm,” he said. “Within an hour or two of calling, we knew we’d be singing for the president, which was just crazy.”
Goldman said the president encouraged and welcomed the a cappella group to return in the near future.
“The president actually said we should come back and do an extensive Iceland tour because even for an island country that has about 300,000 people, there are probably like a thousand choirs, and singing is just very celebrated in Icelandic culture,” Goldman said .
“It was an incredible honor to receive that sort of response from him.”