Day 3 Update!
by Daniella Mazzio
Hello parents, friends, and fellow music members! It is hard to believe we are already on Day 3 of our long-awaited trip to Atlanta. It seems it was only a few weeks ago that Mr. Catt and Mr. Snider had sat us down and introduced to us the exciting location that the choral department would be visiting this year. At that time, the prospect of the trip had almost seemed like a dream. Now, however, here we are, and it is beyond our expectations.
Thursday afternoon, students gathered near the Ross Kellan Music Wing, gathering carry-ons, commenting on how spiffy their fellow peers looked, and of course, feeling the excitement echo past practice rooms and overflow into the foyer and lunch room. Business came first; the luggage/wardrobe crews had their carry-ons checked first so they could help load the buses, as everyone else lined up to recieve their shirt and itinerary, and then proceed to get settled onto the bus. After what seemed like an eternity, the buses were packed, and we departed. Four hours left until bustling Robinson, Illinois.
While on the bus, we watched the first of several fun videos made for driving entertainment (Dean T. instructs us on the Do's of Bus Safety, and meanwhile, Mr. Owen appropriately demonstrates the Don'ts). We also recieved our ClefNotes, activity books made purposely for our trip by Rachel Callaly and Courtney Heneghan.
Once we arrived in Robinson, we wasted no time in getting into concert attitude. WAVE warmed-up with Mrs. Catt, and the "megachoir" did their soundcheck. We had the privelage to be able to perform with the State Singers, an a cappella group from Lincoln Trail College, as well as Crawford County high schoolers who went down to IMEA early in the school year. We also had the privelage to meet Mr. Catt's high school choir instructor, who (along with several other musicians from the county) joined us for select songs.
The audiece filed in. We quickly slid into our robes, and silence fell as Eastwinds led a procession with Amovolovolo. We performed our first concert of the new year, singing older songs (such as Jordan's Angels and Sure on This Shining Night), as well as new songs we've been preparing for this trip, as well as our upcoming concert in just over a week. All the songs we brought down South with us will be featured at the Winter Concert, so parents and friends won't miss out! :)
Lincoln Trail was kind enough to provide us a free dinner. We stocked up on energy to get us through our overnight drive, changed into PJs, and made it back to the bus, excitement still flowing from a very successful first performance. Several audience members had gushed about how great the concert was. Many had made comments about how great the energy was, and how fantastic it was to see so many young people doing something so beautiful. Comments of that sort remind us of the power that music has, and was a great kickoff to our trip.
GLENBARD EAST CHOIR HEADS SOUTH!
A preview by Mr. Snider
To read the full review posted after the trip, go here.
Our tour to Atlanta and Nashville begins on Thursday, March 1, immediately after school as we head for southern Illinois and Lincoln Trail Community College for a concert and dinner at the Zwermann Arts Center. Hopefully we'll see several historic markers which commemorate various aspects of Mr. Catt's early years growing up in the wholesome environment around Oblong, Illinois.
After our concert we're back onto the buses for a long overnight drive to Atlanta, Georgia!
On arrival in Atlanta on Friday we’ll have the opportunity to use a few rooms at our hotel prior to check-in to freshen up before breakfast at the Hard Rock Café. Then we're off to visit Riverwood International Charter School to work with their director, Amy Hughley, and sing with and for some of their choir students.
Following that we pay a visit to the Lovett School for an award-winning hotdog experience. From Mr. Snider's home town of Macon, GA comes the legendary Nu-Way Weiners, owned and operated by James Cacavias, a high school classmate of Mr. Snider's. Since we won't have time to visit Macon, James has agreed to drive the 90 minutes north to Atlanta to bring the hotdogs to us, not only because of his friendship with Mr. Snider, but because Mr. Snider also serves as the Nu-Way Ambassador of Goodwill. Founded in 1916, Nu-Way still operates its original store and serves its unique secret recipe chili and private label bright red weiners.
While at Lovett and with chili dogs on our breath we will have a clinic with Dr. Jerry Ulrich, the director of choirs at Lovett and at Georgia Tech. Afterwards we head back to our hotel, the Double Tree Atlanta Galleria, to check in and freshen up for the evening.
Now it's time to "put a little South in our mouth!" Our evening meal will be at historic Mary Mac’s Tea Room, where we will be able to partake of a glorious buffet of true Southern favorites such as fried chicken, catfish, country fried steak, mac and cheese, Brunswick stew, collard greens, black-eyed peas and peach cobbler!
After dinner we depart for Atlanta Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center to hear a performance of the famous Piano Concerto by Edvard Grieg with the amazing Andre Watts as soloist, a world premiere by young composer Adam Schoenberg, and Carl Nielsen's explosive and powerful Symphony No. 5, all lead by conductor, Robert Spano.
Saturday morning we'll visit the Cathedral Church of St. Phillip, home to one of the largest Episcopal congregations in the country, and diocesan seat of the Bishop of Atlanta. There we will enjoy singing in the glorious acoustic space, hear their massive pipe organ, and spend some time working with cathedral music director, Dr. Dale Adelmann.
For lunch we’ll head for one of the nation’s most recognized centers for hotdog consumption, the world’s largest drive-in which can seat 800 people inside, The Varsity!
After lunch we'll take in some of the city's most well-known attractions, beginning with the Freedom Hall complex and Martin Luther King Memorial.
Next we'll have a chance to visit the world-renowned Coca-Cola Museum, a permanent exhibition featuring the history of the Coca-Cola company and its well-known advertising as well as a host of entertainment areas and attractions. It opened to the public on May 24, 2007, relocating from and replacing the original exhibit.
Then it's time to visit the new Georgia Aquarium. As the world’s largest aquarium, it features more aquatic animals than any other in more than eight million gallons of water. It was a gift to the state by the co-founder of Home Depot, Bernie Marcus, at a cost of over $250 million!
A highlight of the trip will be an evening at Agatha’s Dinner Theatre. Agatha's features productions that are original comedy murder mystery plays which take place in the dining room between the courses of the meal. There is no stage, the actors move all around so you can see and hear from all seats. Two professional actors carry the show and the rest is up to the audience. Agatha's serves a five course meal which includes appetizers, soup, salad, choice of entree' and dessert.
On Sunday morning we will attend and sing for a worship service at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, after which we’ll have lunch there catered by Maggiano’s, with desserts made by the ladies of the church.
Then we depart to head for Music City – Nashville, Tennessee.
Once we’ve checked into our hotel, the Embassy Suites Nashville Airport, we’ll depart for an evening of fun at the famed Wildhorse Saloon. Boasting the largest dance floor in the city, this is a three-level, historic warehouse of 66,000 square feet which has been turned into the city’s most popular live music and dance destination. Students can amuse themselves with pool tables, game boards, and free line dancing lessons before sitting down to a meal of award-winning true Southern barbeque and famous fried pickles. Once we return to the hotel there will be an opportunity for a final tour meeting and some swimming in the hotel's indoor pool.
On Monday morning while in Nashville we will be visiting Ocean Way Studios. Located in the heart of Nashville’s Music Row, it is considered one of the world’s finest recording facilities, and it’s client roster reads like a who’s who of the music world spanning a range of styles from pop to classical. Artists include George Strait, Matchbox Twenty, Harry Connick Jr., Faith Hill, The Mavericks, Willie Nelson, Train, Gretchen Wilson, Montgomery Gentry, Toby Keith, Three Doors Down, and Sheryl Crow. Housed in a 100 year old Gothic revival greystone church, Ocean Way Nashville provides an exceptional acoustical space tuned specifically for music recording and offers one of very few such spaces in the region. We will hear from various experts in vocal health and the recording industry in na panel discussion, have a chance to do some recording of our own, and enjoy pizza for lunch!
Too soon it will be time to leave The South and head back to the Land of Lincoln, arriving at Glenbard East around 10:30pm. Everyone needs to get a good night's rest, because Tuesday brings a full day of school, so NO SLEEPING IN!