When I mentioned to people I would be spending 12 straight days on a bus with middle school kids, they often looked at me like I had lost my mind.
Still, when my brother, Colorado Children’s Chorale Assistant Conductor Travis Branam asked me, a journalist, to come along on National Tour and blog about their adventure through the Northwest, I jumped at the chance. He told me the whole experience would blow me away.
I completely believed him, but it still didn’t prepare me.
From writing incredible poems to having a super fun baseball game with only a wad of tape and a stick, to not a single complaint when a certain restaurant took 35 minutes to simply bring water to our tables, these kids are extraordinary in every sense of the word.
When Mrs. Profitt and Mrs. DeSantis say it’s study time, the kids quietly study until they are told they can take a break (more than once Mrs. DeSantis had to say, “You’re on a break! Make some noise back there!”) . When Mrs. DeSantis says it’s naptime, the kids close their eyes and go to sleep. This, I am convinced, is a modern miracle.
And that’s not even to mention their abundance of talents, which are too many to list here. Or, how hard they work to put on a good show for every school, for every community concert, no matter how many times they have sung the songs.
What I found to be most incredible, however, is their support for each other and their inclusive nature. Middle school kids can get a bad reputation for excluding anyone not in their circle of friends. No matter who they ended up sitting next to at dinner, they had a good time. When they played baseball, they all cheered for anyone who came up to bat. When they read their poems, the other kids were eager to discuss what they liked about each work.
The people that looked at me funny when I told them about this trip didn’t know these kids. Truly, it was a pleasure to spend time with them.
All of that to say, it doesn’t happen spontaneously. These kids obviously have some great and supportive parents helping them become wonderful young men and women. The outstanding Colorado Children’s Chorale staff (yes, I’m biased, but I think anyone would agree!) help them develop their musical talents and have these kids prepared for any and every situation that can arise on tour.
Best of all, in my opinion, is the Chorale staff lets these kids be kids. When it’s time to be serious, they make sure the kids are behaving as they should. When that time is over, Mrs. DeSantis lets them flop around and act their age.
That fits so well with the Chorale’s theme this season of celebrating children. As an organization, the Colorado Children’s Chorale does just that.
I’ll always look back on this 12 days as memorable experience, and I’m truly thankful to get a glimpse into what the Chorale is like. I hope you have enjoyed the blog posts and continue to give us feedback on what you’ve liked so far. The comments have meant a great deal to me.
And seriously, the nap thing is a miracle.
Thanks for reading.
P.S. Here are some of my favorite photos from tour, including photos of our awesome grads, who I failed to give a shout out to during the tour. They were fantastic, from loading luggage to ironing formal wear. You’re awesome Shannon and Micah!