ON THE ROAD WITH TOUR CHOIR #1
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Dear families and friends,
We are on the road again, with a bit of a déjà vu feeling. After a busy day, we are in Fairplay tonight with Regional Tour Choir. And boy did they rock this day! We started out at our Lakewood rehearsal space, after many hugs and kisses and last-minute back-pack checks, with a bit of time to rehearse and get ourselves organized before we boarded the bus. Actually, there wasn’t much to do in the way of rehearsal, as this intrepid troupe of performers is sooooooo ready for this tour. We polished a few things, then set about getting started in our journals before loading the bus to head west.
First stop: Breckenridge Elementary School. You might remember that last year’s tour was also up to the mountains, to sing for the World Ski Championships. Along with our nightly national anthem duties in Vail Village, we spent each day in schools throughout Summit County and beyond, including a stop at Breckenridge Elementary. It was great fun to return today, and with more time this year, we did a workshop along with the performance. Our sponsors, the Breckenridge Music Festival, met us at the door, eager to see what we had in store for 80 local 4th and 5th graders. Everybody jumped right in, and in no time learned everything from stage directions to “Monkeys in the House” and “Do Re Mi,” complete with choreography. There are always some challenges when we do these workshops – a few students too shy; a few too cool; and a few too rowdy. But most of them are just right, and it’s not long until we have everyone singing along and dancing on cue. After a quick snack/water break, we swing into the performance for the entire school, closing with our joint numbers. Tour Choir was awesome, great in the workshop and fantastic in their own performance. One teacher commented, “We need to do something like this every week. Look how excited the kids are!” This tour is off to a great start.
We have seen a little bit of everything with the weather. Sleet, snow, sun, blue skies, clouds…and occasionally all at the same time. David, bus driver extraordinaire, expertly negotiated every change. And fortunately, the roads stayed dry the entire day.
We left Breckenridge by 4:00, and headed over Hoosier Pass to Fairplay, with our second Continental Divide crossing of the day – one under, one over! The Riverside Inn is our new home-away-from-home and it’s perfect. Right across the street is the only open restaurant in town. Pizza Hut. Fortunately, they were eager to welcome us, and we filled every seat in the house. Two buffet tables, one with salad and the other a steam table filled with pizza and pasta, and oozing with chewy goodness. The restaurant immediately commented that this was “the best behaved group they had ever seen.” And they said it again, even after we attacked the buffet tables! We wowed them with a quick “Chili con Carne” encore and headed back to the Riverside.
As I type, the kids are sitting at tables in the conference room, hitting the homework with gusto. Our goal is Friday movie day, with all homework completed. I’ll let you know how it works out. Math seems to be the first order of business for most. Ms. Snyder, our accompanist, and Grad Assistant James are quickly moving from table to table helping with geometry questions. Mrs. Proffitt, our tutor, has already checked in with everyone to find out just how much homework they have, and formulate a plan for completion. As usual, it runs the gamut from “none” to “I’ll never get this all done!”
Ms. Smith is taking orders for tomorrow night’s dinner, when we will be back in Breckenridge. This eating thing can get confusing! Thanks to many parents, we have a bus loaded with snacks and we will complete our third round tonight before bed, with Grad Josef passing out Oreos at this very moment. Never let it be said that anyone goes hungry on tour. And on that note, Mr. Branam is enjoying the fact that the conference room is also the breakfast room, supervising study time with a bowl of Fruit Loops in hand!
Day one success and can’t wait for tomorrow!!!