Our home stays delivered us safely back to Trinity Episcopal Church in Tulsa for our travel day to Oklahoma City. We boarded the bus and drove to Oklahoma City, which took about two hours. While on the bus, some choir members studied scores for graduate school auditions, some chatted with their neighbors, while most slept for our brief drive. As I mentioned before, what makes tour unique is the variety of home stays from city to city. The next morning, we have what some have coined the “Prairie Home Stay Companion,” in which members of the choir graciously share their stories of their evenings. Some highlights included a couple with six adopted children, two rescue dogs named Boo and Bam-Bam, and others bragging about a hotel stay. It keeps the morale high as choir members “compete” to have the best home stay.
We arrived in a small part of Oklahoma City commonly referred to as Bricktown. We dispersed into small groups to acquire sustenance for the road. A handful of choir members and I went to the Wedge Pizzeria, where we all shared copious amounts of pizza and appetizers. We traversed a bit around Bricktown before we ventured back to the bus en route to the Oklahoma City Memorial.
I’m moved to say that the highlight of this trip for me has been walking through the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Sometimes, in the materialistic rush of the world, we forget to reflect on the lives that came before us and the tragedies that make art sublime. Walking through this memorial reminded me of the terrors we’re surrounded by every day. This is what makes music strong and necessary; these are the qualities that change lives through song. After we boarded the bus, Dr. Miller asked if we wanted to sing the Lutkin Benediction. So we left the bus and sang for the souls who left this life too soon. It’s this time of reflection that empowers our music and gives us a different prism to view our musical journeys.
We arrived at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music of Oklahoma City University, where the walls were lined with pictures of many different Miss Oklahoma pageant winners. I was told that Oklahoma City University has produced the most Miss Oklahoma’s/Miss Americas than any other college in the nation. Who would have thought! We staged our concert, went through rehearsal with brimming energy, and we enjoyed a delicious dinner sponsored by the school. We performed powerfully, so much so that Dr. Miller forgot to give bows at the end of the first section! It was a deeply rooted, connected concert that effectively delivered our tale. Afterward, we left for our home stays that provided another evening of rest for a weary traveler. Tomorrow morning brings travels to Ft. Worth. Adieu for now, Oklahoma!