Men’s Chorale: Day 1-3 – San Jose, CA

So a quick recap of our ‘Man Choir’ tour so far…

Heading out…

Leaving Azusa pacific’s campus at 8 am Sunday morning, most everyone was relieved to have the rolling-out of the bus be a defining signal of a tough semester at its conclusion. Remarkably, this is the first time a chorale tour in my three years, or Harold’s (our director) five years, that the whole choir has gone without a word from L.A. up to our destination in San Jose! We were beat. And asleep.

Interestingly enough, through some lines of miscommunication, the chorale ended up with two charter busses, no crew van, and no equipment truck. So the group is split between two vehicles. It’s been nice in many ways, let’s just say. Fun to see how it affects some of the usual interactions and bonding tendencies among the group.

Watsonville

After our first performance in San Jose, we took a short trip to Watsonville and visited Monte Vista Christian School. Wonderful little place, semi-boarding school. Singing for their chapel hour was incredible. Yes, screaming sixth grade girls. Moving on. The chorale met with an advanced chamber choir of theirs, which was quite mind-blowing for this middle-high school. Having recently sung at Carnegie Hall, the group was a talented and attentive bunch of students, all seemingly musically apt (The solfège warmups were great). They showed us their pieces, including the “Gloria” from Mozart’s Coronation Mass, the Hallelujah chorus, and another sacred piece. When it was our turn, we explained the type of music our choir did as a ministry choir, and proceeded with The Majesty and Glory. Since most of the students knew it, we combined to sing in a glorious SATB impromptu session of that piece. Indescribable. Humbling.

It also got pretty cold in the area at times. We found our ways to keep warm.

On this night, we didn’t have enough homestays to cover for the whole chorale, so Harold got us all hotel rooms at a Holiday Inn Express! With that said, 17 guys in a regular sized hot-tub… ‘nough said! The beautiful thing? When most had left, it turned into an hour-long theological discussion. Ah… one silly moment to the next… this is a great group.

Free Time

Another peculiarity about this tour is the free time we’ve been able to have. A drive down to Monterey gave us a relaxing afternoon on the coast with plenty to look at. The Harbor Seals were fantastical.

Tuesday brought us even more fun with time spent at the Santa Cruz wharf and boardwalk. Two words: Neptune’s Kingdom. Something about mini-golfing, incredible 4-way Nascar games, a shot at Deal or No Deal, and other Midway favorites, just gets us going! To be quite frank, the mini-golf course was not bad at all! Fairly challenging, yet manageable, with plenty of variety and obstacles that weren’t overcommonly seen. Best part… Michael plays Deal or No Deal without any success. Jason plays and wins the jackpot of 100 tickets. Eric then proceeds to play and wins the jackpot of another 100 tickets. Too funny.

Back to San Jose

Our concert on Tuesday night brought us back in town to San Jose, and as in the last three years, there was a chorale member in the audience who had just arrived back from a Study Abroad progrem. Our good friend Ryan was back from a semester at Oxford. And as usual, we pulled him on stage for our last number, threw on a tux jacket and sang together to finish the night!

Yea, this was a long post. It’ll be better next time around. On a final note, the homestays have been wonderful. Just gotta watch out though…. so much….. food!

Oh, and to see more photos from this part of tour, go here!

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