Germany's award-winning, unconventional 25-member Jazzchor Freiburg recently made its second tour of Japan. The choir is characterized by unpredictability, as its founder-conductor believes it is boring for audiences to know what is coming next. He throws into a typical concert as much variety as he can, with jazz following Bach, a tap dance coming after a ballet number, a sax solo succeeding an African song. He also includes original works by members of the choir. He creates original concerts that are packed with energy, vibrancy and life.

His all-embracing attitude toward the music exactly fits the outlook and temperament of singer Patricia Schmid, manager and member of Jazzchor Freiburg. Before embarking on her career, she reacted against being tied down to any genre. For her, every musical and rhythmic expression has value and its own validity. She said "It's the unusual specialty of Bertrand Groeger, the conductor of Jazzchor Freiburg, that he brings in classical background harmonies. In Germany, popular groups are always popping up. Our conductor is distinctive as he really excels in bringing in his own ideas and arrangements."

Patricia grew up, she said, in a German village in a wine and vegetable-growing area. The village was near the Black Forest, next to the Rhine River, providing surroundings that were idyllic for a sensitive, artistic child. Patricia, merry and aspiring, calls herself "not really a professional, but semiprofessional." Singing, though, is a prime motivation and enjoyment for her.