ACDA, Day 1

March is a good time to pay attention to my blog again, right?

If you’ve been following my tweets, you’ve probably noticed that I’m in Oklahoma City right now at the American Choral Directors Association convention. Matt and I left Martin at 4:00 this morning with Dr. Simmons to drive to the Nashville airport. We met our three other travelling buddies there and flew out at 8:35. We had a short layover in Dallas, and made it to OK City around 1:00. Since then we’ve been to our first reading session, looked around the exhibit hall, and attended a VERY long, VERY good concert. On the way to said concert was when Matt and I sat on the shuttle behind André Thomas who, if you don’t know, is a very well-known composer and friend of Dr. Fred Spano. After we got off the bus we got to meet him, and Matt took a group picture! We’re heading back to the convention center at 9:30 tomorrow, but as I’ve currently been awake for more than 21 hours, that’s all for today.

East TN tour, day 5

We were expecting to wake up to an icy storm this morning, but there wasn’t so much as a snowflake…

Instead, I woke up to Dr. Simmons yelling “It’s 8:00! We leave at 9:45! Come eat breakfast! I hope my voice is annoying to you!” He was, in fact, very proud of the (third) batch of pancakes he had made, which had (for the first time) turned out perfectly. He let us in on the secret: turn the griddle down some.

After eating Dr. Simmons’ Perfect Pancakes, we went to UT Knoxville where we sang at a donor’s luncheon. When we got back this afternoon we just hung around the chalet for a while (during which time I learned how to play Spades). We all went out for supper, and Matt and I ate at the Olive Garden. If you’ve never had their tiramisu…you’re missing out. On the way back the rest of our van wanted to stop at the Marble Slab Creamery. While we were there a few more people about our age came in and we found out that it was one girl’s birthday. So, we proceeded to sing her happy birthday in three-part harmony. She was so impressed that she wanted us to take a picture with her and find us on facebook!

We’ve been at the chalet the rest of the night; some of us planned on getting in the hottub, only to find it set to 80° and half the water mysteriously gone. This is our last night here, and tomorrow afternoon we leave for Chattanooga.


I found new pajama pants at the American Eagle outlet!

I found new pajama pants at the American Eagle outlet!

East TN choir tour, days 1-3

We’ve just finished the third day of our fourth choir tour, and it has been quite an adventure so far. 

We had our first concert on the way to Gatlinburg on Sunday in Newport. It was the first time our choir has ever been televised! We got to the chalet around 9:00 after braving a good deal of fog the whole way up the mountain. Here is the daily photo from our trip that day:


Monday morning the Simmons cooked breakfast, and then we decided to take a trip the the Tanger outlet mall in Sevierville. We stayed there shopping most of the day and then headed back to the chalet in time to change into our concert clothes. Our performance was at First Methodist in Sevierville. The crowd was small, but the concert was good. As an added bonus, Blair and Tasha (a clarinet major who’s now in grad school) came. In fact, they even came back to Gatlinburg and spent the night with us. I don’t think the mountain has ever been as foggy as it was on our way up then; we couldn’t see more than five feet in front of the van! Since there was not much worth taking pictures of at Tanger outlet mall, I forgot to find anything until I was about to go to bed…


We were surprised when we woke up this morning and were no longer living in a cloud! Who knew you could see mountains out the window? Today was our free day, and several of us had decided to go to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Pictures from our aquatic adventures can be seen on flickr! After we finished the aquarium we walked the strip for a while in the rain. Then we drove to Pidgeon Forge for a little more shopping and dinner at Calhoun’s. When we got back to the chalet we got in the hot tub…and didn’t come back out for quite some time.

Matt meets a sawfish