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Wednesday, June 19
Well, today is the day that seemed so distant when we first started rehearsals in January. We woke up and worked with the choral director from the University of Kentucky at the OCDA conference. What an absolutely amazing experience that was!
Then, our driver Klondike drove us back to Ada. There was much work to do, but it was wonderful to be able to spend a little time together before we have our final concert. After we unloaded the bus, we took one final group picture in front of the bus then said a final goodbye to our captain while presenting him with a poster signed by all of us. We sang The Lord Bless You and Keep You and that’s when a lot of the tears started. John has truly become part of the family, and the fact that he insisted on finishing the tour with us really meant so much to all of us. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to attend the concert even though he really wanted to, so we decided to dedicate the concert to him. Personally, I dedicated this performance not only to John, but to the seniors, this group, and everyone who has helped us along the way.
This trip has given
me so much experience
as a singer and some of
the best friends anyone
could ever dream of.
That was the last time this group would be together, so it deserved to be one incredible concert to show our friends and family how we’ve grown as singers and as people. We’ve met so many amazing people, seen some really incredible sights, and made wonderful relationships and connections. I can say without a single doubt that all the late nights and early mornings have definitely been worth it.
Before the concert tonight, we had a dinner at The Inn where we sat amongst our choir family for a final time and gave out superlatives (I personally won Tour Mom). After that, we went around the room and said our favorite memory from tour. They all had to be different, but you could give an honorable mention if someone took yours before. Oh, the waterworks. When I first heard about the tour, I knew I needed to go. I mean, I got to see 26 (which ended up 25 because of our bus, but that’s okay) states and experience things in 38 days many people won’t in their entire life. I seriously had no idea that it was so much more than sight seeing. The friendships, inside jokes, tour hugs, tour awards, and just every single second on this journey has been indescribable. There is no doubt in my mind that I would do this again in a heart beat. I thank Dr. Ayling, the university, and our hosts along the way for even making this possible.
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This trip has given me so much experience as a singer and some of the best friends anyone could ever dream of. When I look across the circle during The Benediction, my heart just swells because all 40 of these singers mean so much to me. I surprisingly made it through the entire song, but as soon as we cut off and I lowered my head, I was sobbing.
I’m glad to be home where I don’t have to worry about asking to do laundry or for the password to the wireless internet, but I think I’m also going to be counting down the days until I can go back to campus again to see everyone. Tonight, a verse from River in Judea particularly got to me, so I thought I would end with that. Thank you to all who have been following this blog, and may God be with you ‘til we meet again.
“May the time not be too distant when we meet by the river shore. ‘Til then dream of that wonderful day as we sing once more.”
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