May 13, 2010
ON THE ROAD WITH TOUR CHOIR #2
Dear families and friends,
It’s Thursday evening, 35 Regional Tour Choir members are off with host families, and the staff is happily settled at the Estes Park Comfort Inn – warm and dry in our rooms, watching as the snow continues to fall outside. It’s absolutely beautiful, but a little frustrating because….IT’S THE MIDDLE OF MAY!!! The drive from Windsor, through Big Thompson Canyon, into Estes Park was incredible. The sun was actually shining in Windsor, and following our workshop and unbelievably phenomenal school show, we played outside on the playground for a while. It was so exciting to be outside, in the sun, that we didn’t even mind that the giant “touch” football game, complete with cheerleaders (Thanks, Ms. Smith, for letting us use the pom-poms!) was being played in khaki pants and white tennis shoes on soggy/muddy grass. I didn’t have the heart to stop the running and rolling. Though it was a little disheartening to see the Skyview fourth graders winning!
Yesterday (Wednesday) was our busiest performance day. We started in Greeley at Christa McAuliffe Elementary with two school shows followed by a pizza lunch. Then off to Windsor and Mountain View Elementary for a workshop and one more school show. We power-napped on the way back to Greeley so that we could be fresh for the Centennial Village Museum. This is a really wonderful museum in the Greeley Tribune building in downtown Greeley. We learned all about Rattlesnake Kate, the cities in Weld County (one for every letter of the alphabet, except “Q” and “X”), and potatoes, among other things! Maddie was very impressed with the old-fashioned bicycles; Stephen thought the glass chicken egg “decoys” were a great invention; Melissa liked the little metal spectacles the chickens wore so they wouldn’t peck one another’s eyes out; and Michael found a conductor’s suit for me to wear – a train conductor’s suit, that is!
We had an early dinner at CiCi’s Pizza, making it a pizza kind of day, then back to the hotel for a good, long study time. Everyone is doing extremely well with their homework, and Panteli, Jay, Aaron, Christina, Patrick and Henry finished easily by Wednesday night. Keith is reading Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, Kaela, Animal Farm, and Royce, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey. Madeline is writing a paper on Ruby Bridges, and Rebecca discovered Ruby Bridges on the current events timeline she is studying. Morgan is studying the explorers of Latin America and Ari is engrossed in World War II. Jacob is concentrating on his Religious Studies and Obediah has his spelling list under control.
We switched to swimming and TV watching for the remainder of the evening, with a repeat of Tuesday evening’s pool activities. I have decided we need to do every performance in the pool, as the boys sing with abandon and smile from ear to ear, bobbing under the water and back out on cue. The girls changed their pool activities to a variety of contests. Among other things, Abby makes the smallest splash jumping into the pool, Matti can stay under water the longest, Rebecca does the most creative frog jump, and Jayda the most beautiful.
“Rehearsals” in the pool paid off at this morning’s school show, with a great audience, in a big, bright gym, and the memory of last night’s fun in the pool. During the second time through of “Getting to Know You,” Abby was shaking hands in the audience and one little girl got right up and followed her back to the stage. And Annika is breaking hearts all over northern Colorado, with one of the little fourth grade boys following her around trying to kiss her!
Driving through Estes Park in the snow, there were elk EVERYWHERE. I believe we may have seen more elk than people! There were a few people wandering through the shops on Main St., but I had to keep reminding myself that it is May, not December. The Estes Park Music Festival has regularly booked the Children’s Chorale for Christmas shows since well before my tenure. These past two years, they decided to bring us in after the first of the year, with December getting difficult to schedule in the high school theater. In addition, National Tour Choir member Jennifer Klink lives here, and her mother, Cheryl, has been instrumental in this residency, securing all of the host families and myriad other details for our stay. The Klinks operate the Reliance Fire Museum, a large collection of old, restored fire pumpers and ladder trucks. They don’t generally do tours, but made a special allowance for us. We had a blast! Mr. Klink showed us all of the trucks, some carefully and lovingly restored (two years of work!) and some waiting their turn. The kids climbed, rang the bells…and rang the bells…and rang the bells to their heart’s content. We all took our turn sliding down the pole – even Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Crile (who joined us this afternoon), Andrew, and ME! Mrs. Proffitt and Ms. Smith have multiple reasons/excuses for why they just never got around to it! We went in two groups on the ladder truck around town, complete with siren, horn and bells, with sweatshirts and jackets zipped up tight and hats provided by The Hiking Hut – thank you!!
Plans for Friday include a workshop and school show at Estes Park Elementary, then play, study and nap time in the afternoon before we get ready for our 7:00 evening performance. We anticipate seeing lots of friendly faces from home, and can’t wait to see everybody. This has been a short, but very rewarding and very fun tour. Regional Tour Choir has risen to every occasion with grace and maturity, and we are extremely proud of each and every one of them. In typical CCC Tour Choir style, they work hard and play hard. We have enjoyed every minute of the tour, both on and off stage.