Wow. What an incredible last day of tour. We bid goodbye to Cheyenne and our gracious hosts on a brilliantly blue day, and arrived at the Denver Zoo about two hours later. From there, we were on our own for almost five hours to just wander and enjoy. I’ll post a few photos just to prove we were there.
We then went to a downtown chapel that is quite unique in design; it’s several stories and very reminiscent of the Manhattan chapel/temple. Our wonderful alumni sponsors were waiting for us with a beautiful dinner ready to be eaten. We love all of our sponsors, and so appreciate the care and concern they have taken for us. But there is a special connection with Singers alumni, and it was an absolute joy to spend the afternoon and evening with them. The organizers of this concert have moved mountains to have the choir here in Denver for a bonus concert in a beautiful church with remarkable acoustics, and we truly cannot thank them enough. And there were so many alumni at the dinner and concert!! I couldn’t get photos of all of them as some were a bit elusive, but many were willing to pose. I missed Mary Dyer, Jeff Slade, Dean Smurthwaite and Mark Call. Below are those I could find. (We also saw Kendall Shumway and Carlos Lingard on tour, both of whom were in Colorado on business. And Sarah Fawcett attended a concert. And we cannot forget Todd Queen, who sponsored our concert in Fort Collins. We had a wealth of alumni the last two weeks!)
After our delicious dinner came the concert. And what a concert it was!! All of the choir’s sacred music was sung tonight, and the setting was simply glorious. This was such a wonderful ending to a good tour. The audience was filled not just with alumni, but also with many who sing in choirs and could appreciate the concert fully, and others who just love choral music. There was an almost instantaneous standing ovation after the final number, but the choir had performed every sacred piece in their repertoire, and there was none left for an encore. This was just a wonderful, wonderful concert with many pieces sung the very best of the entire year.
A side note, but an important one to the many of us who loved him: tonight’s concert was in the church where Mark Sheldon’s funeral was held in December of 2003. When Dr. Staheli was interviewed for Colorado Public Radio last week, he walked by a production studio that has been named for Mark. It is some comfort to know that he has not been forgotten. Mark was in BYU Singers and then with KBYU-FM for many years.
And now another year has ended, and another edition of BYU Singers is disbanding. Two Singers already left us after the concert tonight, and the dissolution will be complete when we unload the bus in Provo tomorrow evening. This has been a fine year with concerts in Provo, two gorgeous concerts at ACDA in Chicago, and now this very successful tour of Colorado and Cheyenne.
The Singers have so enjoyed seeing Colorado and Cheyenne and meeting so many warm and generous people who have listened to us sing, then housed and fed us. We could not have done this tour without them. And Dr. Staheli and I have had the extra pleasure of seeing other Singers alumni and their families and other BYU choral alumni at concerts. (Please forgive me if I haven’t named you all. Late nights and blogs are not easy companions.) Friends made through singing stay friends forever, and I’m grateful for that truth. It is the only thing that makes it possible to say goodbye to this year’s choir.
So this will close this tour blog, as the long bus ride home won’t make for much of a entry. Thanks to those of you who have stuck with us through our tour – we hope this has made it a little more real to all of you who sacrificed by allowing your spouses, fiancées and children to come with us. They are exceptional young men and women, and it has been a privilege to be with them. Thank you! And a very happy Mothers’ Day to all!