|(I'm the blurry one on the left)|
The Sea Chanters are currently on a 21-day tour of the Northeast U.S.
After waking up early, I quietly ate my breakfast in the dark hotel room so I wouldn’t wake my roommate. Then, it was off to the hotel gym. We Navy girls need to stay in shape, especially when we are eating out three meals a day while we are on the road. After a shower and a quick, but yummy, lunch at a local restaurant, it was off to Manchester, Conn.
Several of the Sea Chanters traveled early to Manchester High School so we could work with the Roundtable Singers, a mixed high school chorus, established back in 1938. This impressive group of young singers brought back such fond memories of high school music for me. I saw so much of myself in all of them. They were so excited to sing for us and seemed impressed by what we brought to sing for them. It is so inspiring to hear the great things music educators are doing in our schools. I have done this twice so far on tour, and I think it may be one of my favorite parts. Who knows? We may have even met a future Sea Chanter!
As our clinic came to a close, the gear truck arrived, and our tour manager switched gears and began facilitating our load-in. The remainder of the group showed up on the bus, a little ahead of schedule, and then it was business as usual; set up, followed by an extensive sound check. So far, so good! The hall was lovely, and the sponsors were running everything like a well oiled machine.
We were then treated to a delightful surprise. One of our sponsors, Ed Tyler, who was quite a chef, prepared a phenomenal, three course, sit down, white table cloth dinner for the Sea Chanters. You can always count on us to eat free food! We only ask for some bottled water to be placed backstage, so to be pampered the way we were this evening was a real treat. I even went back for seconds of homemade trifle for dessert. I am so glad I worked out today!
The very talented Roundtable Singers opened our concert with 30 minutes of beautiful music. Then they filled in the first two rows of the auditorium and began to “rock out” to our performance. The performance was a hit all around. We had an enthusiastic crowd of 850 people, including the Roundtable Singers, three Navy recruiters, and a soon-to-be Sailor.
I had the distinct pleasure to meet and greet our audience members after the show- another one of my favorite things to do on tour. Most of the students from earlier in the day approached me to rave about our clinic and our performance. One young lady told me that our concert was the highlight of her week. Several others told me that it was the best concert they had ever seen. I can’t think of many better reasons to do what we do as military musicians. Can you?
From a soprano who is loving our Northeast tour...
Musician 1st Class Jennifer Stothoff is a soprano vocalist in the Sea Chanters.