After all the excitement of the first concert on tour, it's easy to fall back down to Earth a little bit as you get on with the business of moving from city to city and playing concerts back to back. Thankfully, there was no danger of that this year, as the concert halls have been beautiful and the audiences have been full of excitement.
We left Washington, Pa., and traveled to Ohio to our hotel in Chuyahoga Falls. The hotel was right on some minor falls, which looked fantastic on a day like Tuesday. Our concert that night was at Youngstown State University in the historic Stambaugh Auditorium. This large, old-style hall sounded great and looked even better. The age of the hall also shown through in the old-style elevator lift that our stage crew needed to use to bring our instrument cases to the stage level. Those kinds of challenges always make for a good story afterwards, when the day is over. In the end, the audience was incredibly receptive and I was almost taken aback by the loud cheering.
Our tour managers do a great job planning our hotels and venues in a way that can occasionally give us some rest from traveling. While we had to drive about an hour to and from Youngstown State Wednesday night, our payoff was the chance to stay in Cuyahoga Falls an extra night. In my case, not traveling during the day meant a chance to catch up on the news, practice and workout without having to cram in a meal under time constraints. I'm sure the rest of my colleagues would also agree that one of the best things about not traveling was not having to pack and unpack for a day!
Last night, we had the chance to play in yet another large concert hall at EJ Thomas Hall at the University of Akron. Just like the previous night, the hall was packed and ready to show their appreciation. Our pianist, Musician 1st Class Darrell Partin, got the chance to play "Rhapsody in Blue" for the first time on tour and brought the house down. This was a particularly fun night for some of our members because they had family in town and at the concert. It almost became comical by the time our narrator, Chief Musician Courtney Williams, finally finished recognizing the family and reading the names. In the end, it was a fantastic two days in two of the nicest performance halls we've played.
Musician 1st Class Daniel Frazelle plays clarinet in the Concert Band.