We arrived in droves back at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music where Maestro Miller, the staff and bus driver were waiting for us. Home stays wished kind farewell ,and we boarded the bus to travel into the heart of Texas. Before our departure, the executive director of the American Choral Directors Association, Tim Sharp, greeted us and spoke about our performance at the National ACDA convention in Dallas last March. What an incredible pleasure to be greeted by the leader of this esteemed organization and have him wish us well!
A three-hour drive, a well-rounded rendition of “Prairie Home Stay Companion,” and watching a DVD of “Little Miss Sunshine” provided the comic relief for our travels. We stopped for lunch at a shopping plaza, where our dining choices included Chipotle, Corner Bakery, Panda Express, and select others. A group of us went to Chipotle and followed suit with some light dessert at Marble Slab Creamery. Tenor Justin Su’esu’e, baritone Trevor Sands, and I went to a local market and grabbed supplies for our paper plate awards at the end of tour (more on that to come later). A few hilarious moments ensued, which is commonplace when great friends get together.
We arrived at the stunning sanctuary of Arborlawn United Methodist Church. This beautiful church provided an impressive venue for our third performance. Our rehearsal went quickly, with more choir members fitting into the groove of tour procedures more readily than our earlier rehearsals.
Our concert was performed with ecstatic energy, beautiful intention, and delivered with a poise and strength that hasn’t been present in our concerts thus far. In my opinion, this concert was the best concert of our tour. What made it so? I firmly believe that we have finally fit into the mold of the ensemble, found our collective singing spirits, and completely trusted one another last night. It’s remarkable what a little bit of trust can do to heighten a performance. Afterwards, we met our home stays for a third night in a row.
Pleasurable experiences like these only add to the trunk of memories that Westminster Choir tour builds. In our hearts, an artistic creativity yearns for release. Each and every moment, whether it be an impromptu dance in the middle of a grocery store or four games of pool with a host family, adds a different layer to our music-making. The music we make every night isn’t for our own benefit;it’s an artistic outpouring that longs to sooth the wayward soul. We are transformed because of these gifts and forever changed by sharing this music with all the earth. Tomorrow brings a free day in Dallas!