This is probably the first blog entry written by a YGC member not on tour. As a student taking the spring semester off, I waited impatiently for my darling Glee Club to arrive in my home city of Orlando, Florida.
The story is (according to people actually on tour) that the Yale Glee Club spent a good portion of their free time today in Downtown Disney, an area that locals judiciously and invariably avoid at all costs. Pros: Downtown Disney allows you to buy some truly remarkable Legos and get your picture taken with an 8-foot Mr. Potato-head. Cons: DtD refuses to off anything but over-priced food of horrendous quality and over-priced souvenirs and t-shirts, which you will regret buying immediately upon crossing the state line. Fortunately, most Glee Clubbers managed to sustain themselves on $10 spinach and artichoke dip appetizers and waited out the typical Florida thunderstorm in safety.
Tonight’s concert was at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke in downtown Orlando. Orlando is a small city with vibrant arts, culture, and nightlife scenes, and tonight was especially busy as the Amway Arena filled up for the Magic-Celtics game (the result of which, I will note, was a tragedy).
However, the impending basketball game did little to diminish the turnout at the concert. St. Luke’s is known for sponsoring very fine musical performances and the YGC concert supported that tradition with style.
My first interaction with my fellow Glee members occurred in the fellowship hall where I was greeted with lots of hugs and kisses (aren’t Glee clubbers dear?). I was also diverted by Kaley Sullivan’s pep-talk, which consisted of the following five premises and conclusion:
1: Consider three types of swimming animals: fish, manatees, and dolphins.Conclusion: Don’t be a fish or a manatee; be a dolphin!
2: Fish follow their school, never make their own decisions, and inevitably get eaten alive by larger creatures.
3: Manatees are fairly self-sustainable, but they lack initiative and creativity, preferring to lounge about the Florida waters in a sweet, but unexciting stupor.
4: Dolphins are intelligent, independent, aware, and creative creatures.
5: The above descriptions are a metaphor for singers in a choir (you figure it out).
With that in mind, the YGC ran into the sanctuary (losing a few select shoes along the way) and began a delightful and memorable concert.
It is very different to listen to a choir in which you usually sing. First of all, I rarely get to appreciate how large the group is, and how much sound they can produce at the appropriate times. I was also pleased to realize how little the group abuses its noise-producing capabilities; most of the songs (excepting the traditional Yale songs!) were sung with great sensitivity and attention to detail. (The only downside of being an audience member was that I couldn’t see Jeff’s face while he conducted, but the quality of the program made up for this lack.)
Song of the day: “The Road Home ” because it was sung at my home!
I also had the pleasure of hosting 3 lovely glee girls which we squeezed into the backseat of our car (kudos to my 13 year-old brother for letting me squish him in the corner). After a lingering meal of vegetable soup, cantaloupe, mango, and brownies, we retired. The next morning we ate a lovely breakfast outside on the lanai to the sounds of Floridian birds (and yes, there was grapefruit).
There really is no place like Florida. The Glee Club has seen several of Florida’s personalities (Sarasota, filled with ancients, and Downtown Disney, filled with over-spending tourists with small, screaming children). But the best part of the state is easily where locals live, like the city of Orlando or my suburb of Winter Park. The air is warm and embracing and thunderstorms come every summer afternoon at 4:30. Sego palms, philodendron, live oaks, and Spanish moss line each street. Floridians welcome visitors as their own, sharing the beauty and resources of their Sunshine State.
I am ridiculously proud to introduce my home to the Glee Club, and the Glee Club to Florida. Thank you for the friendship, the “’Neath the Palms” t-shirt, and, most of all, the music: it’s even better than Disney magic.