Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Uplift & Inspire...13 day Vacation... no, Life Experience yes!
June 18, 2009
With our 28 page itinerary in hand we met our plane on schedule in the early morning pouring rain.To set things up for you we are not musical AT ALL and here we are traveling with the World Renown Mormon Tabernacle Choir as guests. Ronald Regan called it "America's choir". My husband works with Lonnie Winterton who sings with the choir and he has talked about these trips for 15 years, so on my list of 101 things to do before I die, this was among the first. We had been preparing for 9 months.That means paying in advance, anticipation and the "lose the weight" thing which NEVER happened.
There are 310 singers and 90 orchestra members. The last picture shows their and our only time to view anything in Cincinnati, the calming riverbend river, as we left early the next morning. You can view more tour infor at: www.mormontabernaclechoir.org
You know how you never get a second chance to make a "first impression"...we HAD our chance to do it right as we were tucked in nicely waiting for the plane to take off, then our names among 7 others were called...ummm, WE were on the wrong plane AND airport! Heads down, we escape with all eyes upon us. Now they know our names, darn. In order not to miss OUR PLANE we RAN and there was Mac Christensen "Mr. Mac" the President of the Choir...waiting for and also flying with us.So much for "first impressions!" We discovered him over the next 13 days to be one of the kindest, pleasant, energetic (he is not young), funniest man we have ever met and how he loves this choir, there isn't anything he wouldn't do for them or anyone.
We arrived in a beautifully green Cincinnati Ohio with their big rivers & bridges just in time for the FIRST of our 20 plus buffets (no mistake), feeding 570 or so adults each time. It was pouring rain, when the bus driver stopped the bus the rain also stopped and the evening was beautiful with a 10 year record crowd, some 10,000 people or more just kept coming!
Note this was an EXTRODINARY OUTDOOR performance held at the Riverbend Music Center celebrating 25 years of music. Maestro Eric Kunzel has been the only one leading the Cincinnati Pops for 43 years. He is also in cancer treatments. He told the choir "Heaven could not be better for me on that podium conducting you people."
It was a PATRIOTIC themed evening, tributes to those who have and are serving our country, I was covered in goosebumps most of the evening. Then Neil Armstrong first man on the moon did a narration, wonderful!
We wore our name badges so when guests had questions about the choir we could try to answer them. We also sat in the performances with spouses of the choir and symphony which we learned amazing stories, some I will share.
I had no idea that before each performance (7 of them in 7 states) they must practice and sound check the music as it has to be adjusted to each venue. Most fascinating to watch conductor Mac Wilberg fine tune each note and sentence. We have a "new" respect for their music talents. These practices are HOT, the lights are HOT and they must stand and perfect their performance.
This choir brings their own risers, lighting, organ and sound equiptment (etc.) and their own group to set it up, they work hard ALL OF THE TIME. We also set our big luggage out in the late evenings after concerts to travel to the next state in a truck and it's in our motel rooms when we arrive at the next destination. Can you imagine the organization? That alone was fascinating to us.
I believe ALL OF US have miracles and spiritual experiences as we go through this life together. This trip I title "Uplift and inspire" as that's what it did for us and the thousands who attended the concerts. I invite you to enjoy this "EXPERIENCE" this week with us if you chose. In no way as a customer & friend do I wish to preach to you as this is not my purpose in sharing nor would I want to do so. There are many experiences that I wouldn't feel appropriate on a business blog to share here, so I will keep them private.
This tour will be tucked into this blog as the shop is open and new things arriving daily and I want you to see them.