Blue sky! The very need to start with that says it all. It would have been a good day anyway, after a stay with such fun, generous, gracious hosts—but the bright sky was most welcome, as we could finally see how beautiful the area is around Rifle.

View from the Rifle HS

We boarded on time again (this might even turn into a trend on this tour) and were soon in the beautiful canyon on the way to Glenwood Springs. The last time I traveled that road it was being constructed; 18 years later it looks just about the same. Could not tell if this is new or continuing construction. It was a beautiful drive with the bright green leaves of early spring.

 

Canyon on way to Glenwood Springs

Wonderful view worth balancing on the top step of the bus to take

Risked my life for this one also

Soon we were back into winter with our passage through Vail and the Eisenhower Tunnel; snow had fallen during the night and was still falling on us. I took photos until the bus windows were too dirty for Photoshop to clean.

Approaching Vail

 

We arrived in Arvada in time for lunch and a chance to stretch out our bus legs with Frisbee. A few choir members are considering turning pro with their Ultimate Frisbee skills. Arvada is a northern suburb of Denver—our tour takes us all over Colorado in an order dictated by when each community wanted to host us. So we’ll see several parts of the state multiple times. Today’s workshop and tonight’s concert are in Arvada West High School–a large, beautiful school–with their Vocal Showcase Choir.

 

Some of the Lunch Bunch

This was a very rewarding afternoon. The two choirs rehearsed the numbers they sang jointly tonight, each conductor working on a piece of music. The Singers were very impressed with the quality of this high school choir when they sang together, and that first impression was strengthened as they interacted with questions for one another about training, rehearsing, and interpreting music. The Vocal Showcase Choir sang Whitacre’s “Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine,” a piece that is dear to several of these Singers who performed it in the British Isles two years ago. They sang that difficult piece very well.

 

Rehearsing together

 

Exchanging ideas

After a pizza dinner, the choirs dressed and warmed up—though not much warm-up was needed after a two-hour workshop! The Arvada choir began the concert, singing even better than in the afternoon. Mr. Maunu has a thriving program here. Singers then took the stage, performing a varied concert that pleased this crowd very much. We had Singers alumni there, along with family of current and former Singers. It’s always wonderful to see friends on tour.

 

Arvada concert

View from the back of the hall

BYU Singers and Arvada West Vocal Showcase

Mr. Maunu and the choirs

We’re getting into our stride now, and it doesn’t take us long to clear the stage, get housing assignments, and head on out. We still have our fingers crossed for warmer weather, but we’re enjoying the tour very much.