I'll admit I had some reservations about this trip. I was to be a chaperone for approximately 40 high school kids, 16+ hours total on a bus, night shift duty checking rooms, sleeping with another woman, basically unknown, touring an unknown city... Those things had me a little worried. At the end of this trip, Emma said "I think you had a better time than I did, Mom."
In simple words, these kids affect lives, mine, theirs, a random tour guide, a restaurant full of people, an honorary member at home, and who knows what others. What an amazing group of teenagers! They have a gift and share it.
Some random memories of the trip: First and foremost, all three choirs placed First in their categories (Chamber, mixed, show), and the Show choir won First Place overall out of all choirs competing (Mens, womens, chamber, mixed, show, etc.) Emma had tears in her eyes after performances and when they placed. What a way to end your school choral career! Kid's rehearsing in the back of the bus, breaking out in song at Hard Rock Cafe (the restaurant bewildered as to what caused it), bed check, a fort in boys room, singing to the tour guide who was surprised and awed with their ability and willingness to sing to him only, boys phobias of sharing beds vs. girls ability to share everything, the logic and fairness of sharing 2 beds with 3 boys, chaperones dancing, fake teeth, bottled water, a bill for valet parking for one of the kids (huh?).
I was incredibly proud of these kids with their performances, their grace at acceptance, their awe and appreciation of other musicians, their ability to interact with each other and adults. I could go on and on and will when I write letters to the board of education, the principal of the school, the superintendant of music, and the choral director. This is why music can not be taken out of the schools.