The tour is now (almost) officially upon us, as our 5 performing groups have begun rehearsing in preparation for our departure on Saturday morning. Things are going well, with a few expected snags...but there are always snags when you're trying to coordinate something of this magnitude. This year, the Wyoming Ambassadors of Music will be presenting performances by the Concert Band, Orchestra, Choir, Jazz Band, and Swing Choir. The jazz band and swing choir actually started rehearsing yesterday, but I wasn't in town yet, so as far as I'm concerned it didn't actually happen. (If a saxophone is playing in the woods with nobody around, is it still out of tune?)
I'm not actually playing this time around, since I've been chosen to manage the percussion section. I'm not too broken up, though, because I've made this trip before, lugging a large saxophone halfway across the world. I'm actually somewhat excited at the prospect of actually being able to walk around with just a backpack and not have to worry about whether my expensive instrument is actually going to make it through rounds of baggage handlers in one piece. So far, we've done part re-assignment, sectionals, photocopying, and a mock-through of the teardown for the entire percussion section, which will be followed by another complete setup tomorrow morning. Necessary? Probably not. But I know that I'll feel better knowing that every person understands what is expected of them and what their roles are BEFORE we get to London. Being a performer is MUCH easier than being a teacher, but it's been good practice for me.
Some highlights from Day 1. Naturally, I haven't obtained photo releases from the members of the group, so I have tried to feature only non-descriptive large group shots and photos of staff members. I've been involved in academia long enough that FERPA still rules my brain.
|A cute little dog. Does it have anything to do with the trip? Not really. I just like dogs.|
|The choir, focusing intently.|
|This year's choir features (at varying instance) guitar, banjo, fiddle, and HANDBELLS!|
|Choir director Pat Patton getting everything he can out of his ensemble.|
|Christine Dunbar explains the nature of the universe to her young orchestra. That, or something actually related to the music. On second thought, it might be the latter.|
|The band takes direction from Dr. Belser.|
|Pictures can be deceiving. To the untrained eye, passion can be confused very easily for fury. Trust me...he's not angry.|
|Tour director Gary Gasser gets his pulmonary workout for the day.|
Well, that's it for the day. More pictures tomorrow (hopefully). Another long day ahead.