Where can you live in a giant wooden soccer ball, shower in a hula-hoop, chat about building infrared telescopes over a Purity’s ice-cream cone, and sleep in a hammock in a third story cupola? You guessed it – Ithaca, New York! While many of our fellow singers may not be having the same experiences as Paul Zehr and I are having at Nancy & George’s exquisite home, I’m sure we are all enjoying this quaint little city.
But getting here was not so easy.
In the words of Scott Barge, the crisp, cold day started off “brilliantly” at Beaver Camp with pancakes, sausage, and fresh maple syrup tapped from Maple Ridge (where we went tubing). We loaded the bus quite early, and spent the morning meeting and singing with local high school choirs. Highlights of the morning included our chamber choir joining the Beaver River choir for the Scottish tune, “Loch Lomond,” and enjoying Lowville’s chorus perform Pentatonix’s “Light in the Hallway.” From Lowville High we walked to Jeb’s (not to be confused with Jeb!), where we filled our tummies with burgers, shakes, and onion rings. After eating, we drove a few hours to Ithaca, where supper was waiting.
The group was in high spirits when we finally arrived at the beautiful St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Ithaca at about five o’clock this evening. One of our dear altos, Lydia Miller, is from the city, so we were excited to share our music with her beloved community (the church was quite excited for her arrival – see photos). Since we have sung in mostly carpeted venues with poor acoustics, this spacious sanctuary with hardwood floors and lofty ceilings was an added bonus. After eating and warming up with a small chamber choir from Lydia’s alma mater, Peter, Christina, and Katie led our group in a time of meditation. Feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, the choir gave its most moving performance of the tour so far, earning a rousing standing ovation from the audience (though they were really just clapping for Lydia).
Now, I must stop to rest my voice. All this singing is starting to wear on my throat, and I shouldn’t be staying up late talking to you all. Goodnight, and peace be with you.
– Caleb Liechty
A clip from our concert with the Ithaca HS Chamber Choir