Today was the day I was dreading most on tour. The drive home or at least partly home. Another early morning saw us being back on the bus at 7 in the morning for what we all knew was going to be a long 8 hour drive followed by a performance. What helped our long day was the kind generosity of Daniel Stoltfuz’s grandma who bought bagels and HUGE boxes of pizza for us to eat along the way, and when I say huge I mean the slices were larger than my face.
After we settled in a blanket of silence came over the bus. Catching up on sleep was a must it seemed. I thought that it was the perfect time to get some homework done but I ended up watching Netflix, a recurring theme for the day. This quickly turned into me catching up on sleep which brought us to our first stop.
After the first stop all bets are off in terms of a quiet study environment. Dontaye, one of our beloved morale officers, quickly started up High School Musical: Sing Along Edition in the bus DVD player. Since we were on a bus of choir kids raised in the early 2000s this prompted massive sing alongs. After High School Musical, Dontaye decided to try an anime that we picked up the day before in a Harrisonburg pawn shop. It was good in a this is terrible kind of way. Unfortunately, that was quickly voted out by the bus after one episode and we moved on to another little game. Our accompanist, Ana Yoder Coulter, has been trying to learn the names of all the choir members on the tour so, we switched seats and put on disguises to see if Ana could guess all of our names. She got extremely close mixing up only two people (I’ll give her the win in this situation, the people she mixed up were very well disguised). Finally, we ended the bus ride with some Disney trivia provided by Victor which made me realize some people are really into Disney and I don’t think I am one of those people.
We arrived at Central Mennonite Church, our only performance of the day, and did our pre-show setup. Found our standing arrangement, made sure everyone could see, and spot checked parts of songs. After that, we had an incredible, and very classic mennonite meal of haystacks provided by the church. We all got changed and did a short devotional/focus time led by Victor and set off to perform. It was a solid performance and even after performing this same repertoire everyday over the last 6 days I still find ways to connect with the music and stay engaged. I cannot wait to get home and perform this set in Sauder Concert Hall to a home crowd (shameless plug–it’s at 7:30pm in Sauder Concert Hall on Sunday, March 6th).
-Seth Smith Kauffman