Student Blog: Spring Choir Tour Experiences
Day 1 - Isle of Palms, SC
by Brianna Smith '08
Wednesday, February 27th
We had an eventful first day. Up at 6 (for most of us), and at the school by 6:45 to load the bus with garment bags, luggage, snacks, pillows, and carry-ons stuffed with computers, books, and other items to keep us entertained on the long bus rides. Meredith Fox, an admissions guru, joined us for the trip to Isle of Palms and Adam Ward doubled as accompanist and van driver.
Then, off we went, Isle of Palms bound.
The two hours of required silent time on the bus was well used-for napping and homework, and the rest of the day was full of Mean Girls, music, and bonding.
Four hours later, we hit the ground running. A quick lunch at the retreat center, and then we were ready to perform our first concert at First Baptist Church School (alma mater of our Paul Saylor).
Like a well-oiled machine we set up, prepared ourselves, and performed for a room full of teachers, students, and family ranging from third-grade to middle-aged.
Our concert started eventfully. Not more than fifteen seconds into our first song, Professor Oakley's conductor's baton, whom we all lovingly refer to as "schtick", slipped out of his hand mid-stroke and went flying through the air. Luckily for us, it landed at the feet of the capable Conway Saylor (Paul's mom) and was quickly replaced without too much trouble.
Paul got a chance to show his old school the work he's been doing since he left them. He sang "Maria" from West Side Story followed by a round of raucous applause.
We immediately returned to First United Methodist church for another rehearsal and Lenten dinner.
There's no rest for the weary. We were back into full gear, changing into our robes for our Wednesday night concert and then heading back to the church for warm-ups and rehearsal.
The concert went extremely well. Paul Saylor, reprising his previous performance from earlier that day, was joined by soloists Justin Lewis singing "Come Away Death" and Alex Will singing "Soon It's Gonna Rain" from the Fantastiks.
Through it all, the members of First United Methodist, and specifically the Saylors and their crew, made Isle of Palms an unforgettable part of our spring 2008 tour. As our fearless leader, Professor Paul E. Oakley, put it, "We left them a little better than they were before, and they left us a little better than we were."
We retired to the retreat center for food and fun. Despite strong winds and freezing cold, some people went down to the beach for late night star-gazing on "one of the most beautiful beaches on the west coast." Others went to the convenience store to stock up on junk food and still others went out in search of a restaurant that was still serving food at 11 o'clock.
Despite all of the home-cooked, delicious meals we've had since we left, somehow we're always hungry. Call us the choir of the perpetually feasting.
A late-night game of "never have I ever" concluded an eventful day with a healthy dose of bonding through shared experiences. Jacqueline Allen began a list of funny quotes to help us keep track of the fun times we're having on the trip
One day down, eight more to go.