Brigid Lucey '18
We woke up early Sunday morning in Charlotte, North Carolina and drifted downstairs to our homestay’s kitchen for a 6AM breakfast of pancakes, fresh fruit, and coffee! The night before, we’d arrived to find gifts on our pillows: travel size amenities and North Carolina t-shirts, and we six Chorus members had all slept soundly after our long drive the day before.
Sunday was a TRAV day, so I donned a sea foam green dress reminiscent of the 1940s and a pair of heels. (Note: TRAV is a business casual dress code the Chorus adheres to when we travel to perform.) The weather in Atlanta was predicted to be sunny and warm, so I didn’t even bother to wear a jacket. What luck to be able to steal away from Ithaca and enjoy some warm weather before spring truly arrives! We packed up our bags and new treats from the Williams family and they drove us to the bus pickup point as the sun rose over the city of Charlotte. We passed enormous churches on the way; I thought forward to the rest of the week and of how many beautiful spaces we’d get to sing in. We reached the bus and our driver, Penny, helped us load our bags under the bus. A final goodbye and “Thank you!” to the Williams and we were off!
The tour bus is, as you’d expect, a unique experience capable of bringing groups together but also of creating an arena for tension and stress to mount. Before embarking on the tour, we decided to combat the fondly nicknamed “Tour Rage” with movies during particularly long rides. Some Chorus members brought music, homework, logic puzzles, or light reading. I brought a coloring book! On Sunday, we watched The Breakfast Club during the ride to Atlanta. Robert and Steve, our Director and Assistant Director respectively, admitted to the front of the bus that they were pleased with the selection and hadn’t expected us to have good taste. (We later destroyed their newfound impression by watching Pitch Perfect and High School Musical. Oh, well!)
On the way to Morehouse College we made a pit stop at the Ponce City Market, where we enjoyed about two hours of free time. I made sure to get some fresh air in the outdoor areas, and a small group of us ventured to the park across the street to soak up the sun.
Finally, we arrived at Morehouse. Their Glee Club is an ensemble of talented, disciplined, and professional young men who demonstrated the epitome of “southern hospitality” to us during our evening at their school. During our joint sound check, we marveled at how quickly they assembled on the stage (a speed which Robert joked that the Cornell Glee Club could never achieve). They treated us to dinner at a dining hall on campus where we socialized and compared the inner workings of our groups, and then we all trooped back to the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center where the concert would begin at 7:00.
The concert hall was almost completely comprised of wood, which made for one of the best acoustic spaces of the tour. We enjoyed sitting in the audience to watch the Glee Club perform, then we rounded out the first half of the concert with our own individual set. After intermission, the two ensembles combined to sing Meguru and Walk Together, Children in a powerful SATB choir. We were honored to perform with such a wonderful group and their director, Dr. David Morrow.