Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Moose Crossing

Yesterday was our 12th day on the road and the Sea Chanters have truly left the first half of tour in big cities behind us. Musician 1st Class Rachel Sarracco, the tour manager for our first half of tour, completed her final concert the previous night. She did a marvelous job, and we thank her for all of her dedication, hard work, and attention to detail.

Our second tour manager, Musician 1st Class Bill Edwards, took the helm yesterday and led us to Bethel, Maine; a tiny town where skiing and snowboarding are the recreation of choice. I don't ski myself, but I am enjoying the scenic views and friendly people. The three hour drive led us north by way of tree lined and snow capped mountain roads. I couldn't help but chuckle as we passed several "Moose Crossing" caution signs. How do the moose know to cross only between the caution signs?

Our concert was held in Bingham Hall Auditorium, the performing arts venue at the Gould Academy, a boarding school in Bethel founded in 1836. It is a beautiful hall that seats approximately 600. The Mahoosuc Arts Council did a marvelous job, nearly filling the hall with enthusiastic patrons, ranging in age from 10 to 90. We had a very healthy showing of Gould Academy students who seemed pleasantly surprised to have enjoyed the show as much as they did. Two students, in particular, are worth mentioning. Helen Cooper and Avery Rossow (a junior and a sophomore, respectively, at Gould Academy) were an enormous help and did an outstanding job working the lights for the show. The colors were posted by the American Legion Post 68, Jackson Silver, from Greenwood, Maine. I had the pleasure of speaking with a few of them after the show, and, as always, I found these veterans to be fascinating and humble men. Thank you for your service to our country, gentlemen.

As I was leaving the lobby after meeting and greeting, I was approached by a gentleman wearing a tee-shirt that read, "I survived Sea Chanter Tour 2001." Naturally, the clothing choice spiked my interest. He introduced himself as Guy Stevenson, the Sea Chanter's motor coach driver for their New England tour 10 years ago. I did not join the group until 2002, so I had only seen pictures of this man, but I was tickled, nonetheless, by his presence at the concert tonight. He said that he found out that the Sea Chanters were going to be performing in town, and decided to attend with his lovely wife, Debbie ( I hope I am remembering her name correctly) and 18 of their friends. What a small world! Tour is always full of surprises. We love meeting new people as well as reconnecting with old friends. Thank you for coming, Guy!

Today I'll be joining several other Sea Chanters on a school visit before our concert, so it promises to be a buys day!

Musician 1st Class Jennifer Stothoff is a soprano vocalist in the Sea Chanters.

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