In a way, it's a little surreal to be home. Lucky to have returned just before a holiday, giving us the chance to spend precious time with family before jumping headlong into the backlog of whatever work was put on hold for three weeks.
This odd feeing of of being so comfortable being away at work for such an extended period has occurred for me on occasion, but never so much as on this past tour.
As I listened to similar comments from my colleagues, I was struck by how many collective tour experiences we all share, and just how many important facets there are to the making of a successful tour. So many of us (if not all!) have agreed that this was probably the best tour they can remember, and everyone numbers their priorities in his or her own particular order of importance. For me, it was the diversity of the events in which we were able to participate, and the level of appreciation for our collective musicianship and versatility that was so immensely gratifying. Sharing in the culture of each place we visit always adds a special perspective, and this tour was certainly no exception, but hugely enhanced on this occasion due to the personal involvement of family and friends of Tama Copithorne and Cecilia Chueh. The incredible array of unique events, so many of which were arranged especially for us, and some not usually available to the casual visitor, added an especially rich aspect to this tour.
Not to leave the exemplary level of musicianship we achieved together unmentioned, I feel that the description of what it takes to make a tour like this work on so many levels was so eloquently articulated by our own Violet Goosen, a day or two ago on this blog. As I digested her comments, it made me feel so proud that she felt this way about our performances, comportment, and the level at which we represented ourselves as a choir, as musicians and as citizens.
I would like to add that we can never say enough about the incredible 'behind the scenes' work, much of which seemed to go on 24/7, not only in the months leading up to, but also during the tour. We can only imagine the incredible amount of detail and organization, and the stresses of dealing with the constant changes that arose as the days proceeded. Always, and as ever, handled seemingly without a hitch, hiccup or ruffle of feathers, Vi and our intrepid team of 'handlers' soldiered on, smoothing the way and ensured that things went according to somebody's plan! That these compliments come from someone whose years of musicianship and dedication has contributed so enormously to the shape and soul of the choir, is high praise indeed.
So, to Violet, Tama, Cecilia, and their extended friends and families, profound thanks and gratitude for all your efforts and expertise. Thanks to Jon for his leadership and that special ability to always find a direction for those workshops, and to John William Trotter, (John-boy, Trotzky, Asistanto) Bravo! It's the first time we've ever seen someone play 'Lotto Conductor" and we were dazzled by your skill, versatility and good humour. Special thanks to Charles and Lucille Flavelle, whose companionship and enthusiastic support always adds so much.
I know that, in the days to come as we make the transition back to the hectic scramble of making a living as musicians, I will remember the depth of appreciation of our art from those we visited, and particularly, the moving words of Charles, as he described the effect our performances had on their friends and his deep affection for the choir. It brings an enormous sense of fulfillment to have chosen this as a career. The memories of what we achieved and the people we were able to touch with our music are gifts I will treasure always, and I know I will be able to call on them whenever I need a reminder of just how profound and powerful the choral art can be.
Marla - #8