by Musician 1st Class Jennifer Stothoff
Yesterday was the Sea Chanters seventh day of tour. The plan was to bus directly to the concert site in the afternoon, so the group got to hang out in Mishawaka, Ind., for the day. You might be asking yourself, “What is there to do in Mishawaka?” Well, I’ll tell you!
Most of us slept in... I love mornings like that! Some did laundry, worked out (myself included), and grabbed a bite to eat. Several of us walked over to the local roller skating rink and skated for a few hours under the disco ball. We drank frozen slushies, ate pizza, and took silly photos and videos, while doing the Hokey Pokey, and skating in circles to the music of Michael Jackson and ABBA. I felt like I was 13 again. Fortunately, everyone that skated made it out of the rink without injury... phew!
Then it was time to get to work! We packed up our luggage, boarded the bus, and drove an hour to Elkhart, Ind., for our evening concert. Upon arrival, we unloaded our gear into one of the most stunning theaters I have seen in a long time. The theaters’ construction was funded by Elkhart business man Harry E. Lerner in 1923 and was opened on Nov. 24, 1924. Over the next eight decades, the theater changed names and owners, but it continuously presented plays, musicals, and concerts to the people of Elkhart. In 2009, the theater underwent a multimillion dollar renovation, which was completed in summer 2011.
The Sea Chanters took the stage at 7 p.m. to a nearly full house of 1,600 patrons. The energy in the room was immediately palpable, and the crowd went wild after every number. At the end of the show, the audience shouted for an encore, and at the end of the song, they wanted another. In my 10 years of singing with the Sea Chanters chorus, I cannot recall ever performing a second encore! WOW! I can’t stop smiling, even as I am writing this blog entry.
After such an awesome reception in Elkhart, it was hard to say goodbye, but we have other great cities and wonderful people to perform for before we go home. So, we packed up our gear, boarded the bus, and drove for another two hours to Chicago, where we will spend our first day off and hub for three nights.
I have local family in Chicago, so on Sunday, I will be spending my day off with them. I am really looking forward to it. Windy City... here we come!
Musician 1st Class Jennifer Stothoff is a soprano vocalist in the Sea Chanters.