By Christina Lee '18
I won’t lie, this year’s tour started off a little rocky for me. I woke up to the sound of my housemate’s voice asking if I was ready to go. “It’s 7:41!” She said. We had to be at the tour bus by 7:45. Needless to say, I was a bit frazzled. Was I completely surprised? Considered I’d stayed up until 3 AM packing, not so much.
Lucky for me, our bus was having some technical difficulties and wouldn’t be ready to go for at least another half hour. My housemates and I arrived at Statler Hall damp with rain and sweat, but thankful that we weren’t the sole reason the Chorus would be a little behind schedule.
After a quick bus switch, the Chorus was on its way to Hershey, Pennsylvania. The morning’s sour start was definitely sweetened by the prospect of lots of chocolate later in the day. We arrived in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and started our day with a workshop with a couple of high school choirs at our Tour Manager’s old high school. Liz introduced us to her former teacher and two really talented groups. I always love workshops because it gives the Chorus space to reflect on why we continue singing after high school (because we love it) and allows us to share our music with others (which we also love doing). Plus, we get to play fun rhythm games and perform in rounds with the other choirs. It’s always a really fun way to engage with music differently in new places.
Next, we were off to Hershey Chocolate World. There, we grabbed a quick bite to eat in the gigantic gift shop. The food was all chocolate themed. I loved the pulled pork sandwich topped with chocolate sauce so much that I literally dreamt about it later on tour. Then, we all hopped onto a historic Hershey trolley for a tour of the town. After an hour filled with fun facts and free chocolate, we were back at Chocolate World, hopping on the bus to head to our concert venue.
Our concert was at the beautiful Messiah Lutheran Church in Harrisburg. The first performance of tour is always a bit interesting. It’s our first chance as a choir to show off our sound in a brand new place with an audience who, in many cases, have never heard the Chorus perform before. However, the concert typically comes after a long day of travel and exhaustion. Maybe it was a leftover sugar high from Hershey or maybe it was the pure excitement of the first day of tour, but the Chorus overcame our sleepiness and pulled together a lovely concert. It felt good to hear pieces we had been working on for a semester reinvigorated and gave us a good idea of the aspects of pieces we could really dig into over the course of our ten day tour.
That night, I was home stayed by my friend Sarah’s wonderful family. A few other chorus women and I spent some quality time bonding over food and Sarah’s dog, but before we knew it we had to go to bed. The next day, our wake up call was 5 AM and we needed to rest up! Tour Day One: check. Only nine more days to go.