ON THE ROAD WITH TOUR CHOIR
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Dear families and friends,
Howdy from the western slope of Colorado!! Regional Tour Choir is doin’ their thing from Vail to Steamboat Springs this week, and we’re having a great time!
I am writing from the Snow Bowl in Steamboat Springs – a clean, family-friendly (at least at 3pm!) 12-lane bowling alley. We arrived around 1:00 to trays of wraps, fruit and vegetables prepared by Dewey, the owner. After a busy morning at Meeker Elementary School (more about that later), we were hungry and thirsty, and Dewey took good care of us. The food quickly disappeared while the open lanes beckoned. We split into 4’s, with one each from the reds, yellow, greens and blues, our voice parts for 4-part music. Shoes, balls (yellow and orange are the lightest; red for the strongest among us), all names into the computer and we were rolling! A variety of styles emerged, from quite sophisticated to…not so much.
Sami didn’t score any points when she attempted to explain to Mrs. Proffitt, Mrs. Wright and me all about “granny” bowling, even though she can do it backwards. Mr. Branam, Ms. Smith, Calvin (our bus driver), and JayKy (grads extraordinaire Jayda and Ky) ripped up the center lane, with Ms. Smith the champion. Emily K. smoked Zach M., Han, and Josef, though they redeemed themselves the second time around. Britta employs “the Britta” technique, much like Sami’s “granny.” This was Bella’s and Heavyn’s first time bowling. Bella was greatly improved on her second game. Heavyn, not. Toby reportedly had the best form, though high scorer for the afternoon was Zack K. with a 107. About half-way through the second games, the disco lights and music came on for Cosmic Bowling. This added a new twist, as it’s hard to dance and bowl at the same time. I particularly enjoyed the Taylor/Torin brother/sister dance, and everyone stopped bowling long enough to go Gangam style.
Final score? Reds, 1097; yellows, 1114; blues, 1092; and the Greens take it with 1157!
On the way from Meeker this morning we attempted “happy study time,” but the windy, bumpy road was not kind to us. So, we are now taking advantage of tables and chairs on solid ground at the Snow Bowl. It’s quite relaxing and conducive to studying. We are the only ones in here, sitting atop shelves of bowling balls with a little light jazz playing in the background. We’re trying to get four days of work done in three days so that we can watch movies the whole way home. A lofty, but perhaps achievable, goal. I will keep you posted
Back to yesterday. We left Denver a few minutes after eight, with time to spare before our first stop in Vail. The first task on the bus is to get everything in its proper place and review bus etiquette. The first Chorale rule is to be in your seat at all times. As I was started my little speech, I looked down at my seat and noticed a seatbelt. More and more, we are traveling on buses equipped with seatbelts and we quite like that. So, Mrs. Proffitt and I launched into our new, but actually very old, favorite song, “Buckle up for safety, buckle up…” only to be shouted down with the news that there were NO SEATBELTS. Only in the front seats. Shoot. The kids were quite excited that I would be the only one belted into my seat! Unfortunately for them, I have a microphone in my hand, which leads me to Rule #2: when someone begins talking on the microphone, everyone else is immediately silent – sort of like “hands.” Both are “hand”-y plans, let me tell you!!
Also new on the buses is a video that pops up, much like on an airplane, to explain emergency procedures. We all watched quietly, then moved on to getting homework organized and stowed in ever-shrinking overhead compartments. Again, just like the airplane! Homework runs the gamut from “My teacher didn’t give me any,” to “I did it all this weekend,” and everything fits in a quart-size ziplock to a locker-size pile of books and papers. Journal packets, including maps, get passed out. Thank you, Ms. Smith and Mrs. Proffitt. Everyone gets their belt. Thank you, Mrs. Fisher. And before we know it, it’s time for a snack – thanks, Mom!
If you have been following our Facebook posts, you know that we have a new member of Tour Choir with us. The cute little “bear currently known as Teddy” was perched happily in the front window of the bus and we have decided he will travel with us for the next 40 years. And he needed a real name. One submission per person, complete with the reasoning behind the name. Team efforts accepted. Staff will make the final decision.
After careful consideration, and filled with inspiration from so many beautiful and appropriate ideas, all carefully documented on scraps of paper, we decided on a name the honored the spirit of all suggestions and came up with “Rocky.” This 2012-13 Regional Tour Choir will go down in Chorale history as Rocky’s inaugural tour companions. The name will remind us that the tour took place in our beautiful home state, and Rocky will take the spirit of Colorado and these intrepid young adventurers with him as he travels the world with future Chorale generations. He will be joined by NTC’s New Zealand tour mascot, Sheba. (Note to Mrs. Fisher: Sheba needs a Chorale sweatshirt, perhaps blue, to match Rocky’s snappy little blue one!)
A gentleman just came in to the Snow Bowl and actually wants to bowl. He seems quite content to roll away and accept all of the silent cheers coming his way. And that’s the end of school for today!
At this point, you are probably wondering if we are actually performing on this tour. We are. I promise. We did a school show in Vail yesterday and a workshop and school show in Meeker this morning. They were brilliant and I will tell you more in tomorrow’s post.
Having a great time,