Preflight observations

11 April, 2014
Rat Fink

Four days and counting until I report to the school house at 7 p.m. as well as 7 a.m., so we can board the charter buses and blast off to NYC.

  1. It’s surprising how many people think I’m nuts for doing this. I hear it quite often. You’re taking a hundred people to New York? Whoa. Have fun with that. Well, thanks. I will. Ninety-nine percent of the people going have never been to the #1 tourist destination in the US, and I love seeing and hearing their reactions as I experience it with them.
  2. Although I don’t sleep much at all, it’s still fun. You’d think that after enduring the 10-hour bus rides at night, the risky weather, the worry about obvious big-city safety issues, the Lincoln Tunnel traffic, seeing Phantom on Broadway, Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, Little Italy, Central Park, Rockefeller Plaza, or Medieval Times in Lyndhurst — all for the umpteenth time — I’d be sick of the whole mess. But that’s never the case.
  3. Performing in our venue is unforgettable. Many choral directors do the “workshop” type thing when they take their choirs to NYC. Those are great and educational and fun, but they’ve never been my style — probably because of my decades-long, iron-fisted death grip on control. I’d rather schedule a place for my singers to perform, do the gig as early as possible, then get to the partyin’. I can’t think of a more beautiful venue to sing in NYC than the Cathedral Church of St. John, the DivineAwesome place, in the most literal sense of the word, as folks are truly in awe when they first walk in.
  4. The memories are truly special. I’d need several hands to count how many times I’ve seen and heard former students talk about what a life-changing experience choir tour was. That has to be one of the best feelings for me about the whole thing. I once became a bit upset during a performance at St. John because I looked up to the back row while conducting and saw a couple of basses (both great kids, leaders in the section, beautiful voices) grinning, ear-to-ear: peculiar and basically unacceptable behavior while singing Lenten music. They immediately sought me out after the gig and said, “We are sorry, Jax, but we were just blown away by our sound in this place. We couldn’t believe it.” I’ll take that.

I’m always “on” my choirs about professionalism, behavior, class, respecting the music, recognizing the beauty in things, and being a blessing to people. Sometimes I forget how much of a blessing (in good times and bad — especially the times when they want to see me take the long walk off a short pier…like, you know, now) they are to me. Tour usually brings that to bear in many good ways.

And that’s all the nicey-nicey I got this morning. Coffee, the shower, the road, the school house, in that order. TGI flippin’ Friday.

Have a great day, fiends!

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Mavis
Mavis
11 April, 2014 6:13 am

I remember going along with you one year. When you’re downtown, in the midst of all those grand buildings, it is indeed hard to wipe the smile off of your face and keep your mouth from dropping open. It’s like you’ve entered another world for the first time. Such an unforgettable experience! Your students are definitely blessed with talent, but they are also blessed to have a teacher like you, Birdie. Hope the weather holds and it’s sunny skies for the entire trip! Have fun! Oh, and bring me a present. ReplyRat Fink Reply:April 12th, 2014 at 11:20 amI hope… Read more »

Ross
11 April, 2014 9:13 am

To echo your #2 point: I think ‘New York City in the springtime’ is something of a cliché, but it’s only a cliché until you’ve actually been there in the spring. Then the staggering beauty of that city in that season never, ever gets old.

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Rat Fink Reply:

Agreed! Love walking down 7th Ave. in the sunshine — I hope we can have a chance to do that this year.

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David
David
11 April, 2014 11:46 am

Hey Ms Fink… I have to agree with Ross, NYC in Spring is an enchanting place, definitely fresher, cleaner but has always felt special to me on my little jaunts there. I never tire of Broadway there is just an incredible energy emanating for that entire area. I have a little Sis that lives on Long Island and many dear friends that make NYC home I am wishin I was coming along. Have a blast , I know you will, be safe, stay out of Central Park at 3 AM…very scary place at that time, you don’t wan to know.… Read more »

Suzanne
11 April, 2014 1:13 pm

Exciting!! I can’t wait to see pics and hear of your adventures. Have you started packing yet??

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