Friday, May 28, 2010

2010 Summer Tour: Sarasota

Dylan Morris '11 describes Day 4

The Yale Glee Club reconvened early Thursday morning at St. Edward's School for the three-hour drive to Sarasota. Glee Clubbers always find novel ways to amuse themselves on tour bus rides. On this ride, a group of YGCers led by aspiring filmmaker Julia Myers '12 used a point-and-shoot digital camera to make a three-and-a-half-minute film that was as silly as it was short.

Arriving in Sarasota, we grabbed lunch before rehearsing in the Church of the Redeemer's beautiful sanctuary. We had a visitor at the rehearsal—Daniel Moe, the resident composer at the church and the former longtime director of the Oberlin Conservatory Choir. After hearing us sing Anton Bruckner's "Os Justi," ­­he told us that it was one of his all-time favorite pieces and praised our rendition of it.

After rehearsal and a tasty dinner prepared for us by parishioners at the church, we had a free hour. Glee Clubbers stretched out on the church lawn, read on benches in its gardens, and sat in circles playing guitar and singing folk songs.

Soon, though, it was time for the concert. Arden Rogow-Bales '10 prepared us with a thoughtful pep talk. Drawing upon his experience as an actor, he encouraged us not merely to sing the music but to express and mean it. "When eighty people mean something together," he told us, "it can be almost too powerful."

As we prepared to run onstage for our first set, we saw that the church was packed—our first full house of tour, and a very enthusiastic audience. “Weep You No More,” “Little Innocent Lamb,” and the Chamber Singers’ rendition of “Hark I Hear the Harps Eternal” seemed particularly popular.

At intermission, Sarah Evans '10 encouraged us to enjoy the "giddy" feeling that singing can give. It was easy to feel giddy as we received a standing ovation for the Yale Football Medley, performed "Bright College Years," and ran out offstage to applause and ringing church-bells. Outside, YGCers jumped in the air, hugged one another, and danced to the bells.

As I write this, we are on the bus on Friday morning, on our way from Sarasota to Orlando. As we were about to pull away from the curb, Daniel Moe came aboard our bus for one last goodbye: "Thank you for your energy and excitement and your commitment to choral music." Coming from him, the words reinforce themselves.

Favorite moment of the day: Daniel Moe’s comments on the Bruckner and our singing.

Song of the day: In his honor, “Os Justi.”