May 1: Auburn, Washington

Today’s bus ride was only 3 hours, so we bounded onto the bus without too much dread after saying our fond farewells to the hosts of the past 12 hours. This was a short stay! We are very grateful for the great planning that enabled a beautiful concert last night, and for the wonderful care that has been taken of the choir. All have been enjoying the dozens of cookies that somehow followed us onto the bus this morning…

The drive to Auburn was quite pretty, with snowcapped mountains and green valleys. We saw Mount Rainier as we drove into town. The weather today was so delightful that we found a city park in Auburn and just relaxed or threw the Frisbee or took a nap or called home or read a book for an hour or so—you get the idea. It was very welcome downtime.

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Chris Downard, somewhat bemused by the sucker given him by his host family.

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Just hanging out.

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The Book Club.

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Serious multi-tasking: talking on the phone while exercising (and another runs by)

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Our resourceful and very good bus driver, Ken.

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We arrived at the Auburn Performing Arts Center, off-loaded all suitcases and performance dress, and then moved quickly into a good rehearsal. This is a beautiful hall, and is very gratifying to sing in.

Rehearsal was followed by a delicious lasagna dinner, then it was time to get back into concert apparel. Some days it doesn’t feel as if there’s much time between concerts; but that’s the joy of tour, and gives the opportunity to keep finding new ways to sing the literature so that it is always fresh. So far, the choir has achieved that every night.

The concert tonight included some pieces sung for the first time on this tour, and all were sung beautifully. The comments made at the CD table are a good indication of how the concert is being received, and tonight passed the test. “Lux aurumque” is always a hit, but every piece is received warmly. Ken and Angie Owen were there tonight as our Singers alumni representatives, along with other old friends. It’s fun to be surprised by who appears each evening.

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“This Little Light,” Chris Machado, conductor

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Once the concert ends, the choir meets with the host families, and is assigned their new home for the night. Soon all the suitcases are trundled out to cars, and everyone is off to meet the families and try to get a good night’s sleep.

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“She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain’

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Our May Day was a most successful day, with glorious weather in a very beautiful city. And the concert was great; I never grow tired of hearing them sing, especially as the pieces are presented a little differently every time.  I hope to post a video of a piece or two soon.