We drove down to Sioux Falls on Thursday night and ate dinner together before checking in at the Premier Center and going to the hotel to sleep.
The next morning we climbed into the bus bright and early so we could get good seats. Because of the number of people in Allstate Chorus (around 925) seats are not assigned, and as the place is gigantic it's good to get there early and sit toward the front so you can see the director. We sat in our quartets, and we were actually able to have two Brookings quartets right next to each other.
Then the rehearsing began. I think on Friday we had a total of around 9 hours of rehearsal. Our director, Jerry Blackstone, is from the University of Michigan and won a Grammy at some point. He took some getting used to, but he really knew what he was doing and had no problem getting 900 singers on the same page. One of the coolest things about honor choirs, etc. is getting to work with well-known and highly skilled directors that you'd never meet otherwise!
Saturday morning didn't start out quite as early, since we already had seats. We took a group photo in our Allstate shirts before going into rehearsal.
Then we had another full day of rehearsals, including practicing our two combined songs with the orchestra. At around three we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the concert. Some parents brought us an early dinner to eat while we got ready, and then we had a very long photo session. (I don't have pictures of that yet.)
Then we loaded the bus for the concert! The concert went quite well, surprisingly well, I might say. By the end of the night we were utterly exhausted and I was glad to hop into the car back home and sleep and sleep.
It took a while to find my family in the enormous crowd after the concert, but I eventually found them and we got some pictures. Can you tell how exhausted I am?
Our concert program:
The Star-Spangled Banner (with the orchestra)
Then the orchestra played their three pieces, which I don't know the names of.
How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place by Brahms, sung in German (with the orchestra)
Alleluia from "Songs of Faith" by Paul Basler
Come to Me, My Love by Norman Dello Joio
Music Down in My Soul, a gospel song arranged by Moses Hogan
Loch Lomond, a Scottish folk-song arranged by Jonathan Quick
Bright Morning Stars, a traditional Appalachian song arranged by Shawn Kirchner (my personal favorite; we sang it in memory of a four-year Allstater who was killed in a car accident on Monday)
If Music Be the Food of Love by David Dickau
Zadok the Priest (Coronation Anthem I) by George Frideric Handel (with the orchestra)
(photos from Mom)
Overall, a successful, though tiring, weekend! I came home with a cold, but at least I didn't get sick before the concert! A huge thank-you to everyone who makes these things happen!!