Farewell Florida

by Jeremy Chance

Good morning everyone!

As I’ve mentioned before, some of the advances in technology absolutely amaze me sometimes. I’m writing this blog on my laptop with the wireless internet network on the bus. I just think it’s pretty cool!

We’ve been on the road back for about 10 hours or so I’d say, and we’re in northern Georgia. I must say, I absolutely hate driving through Georgia. It’s such a tall state, it just takes a long time to drive through. You all know exactly what I’m talking about…well, at least those who have driven south through Georgia.

Anyways, Friday was our final day in Florida, and it started pretty early. We had to be at Barron Collier High School at 9:30, but with traffic and such we left the Laphams house around 8. Now, because both Mr. and Mrs. Lapham are teachers, sometimes they were unable to drive us to our call times, so they would ask a local neighbor to do it for us. So for yesterday’s call time, a friend of the Laphams drove us to the high school. The reason this was problematic was because there were four of us guys, with ALL of our stuff because we were heading home after the day, and this woman pulls up in a sedan; it wasn’t even a luxury sedan, just a regular sized sedan. We shoved our massive suitcases in her trunk and had to sit three across in the back with our backpacks and soft garment bags. It was just one of the less comfortable moments of the trip.

We got to the high school a half hour early, which apparently seemed to be the theme for my group of guys. I just want to say something real quick. We were supposed to be in travel attire for the day, and that consists of our PVGC polo, khaki shorts, our belt, white shoes (and socks), and occasionally our running suit jacket. There were a handful of people who did not show up in the proper attire. Wednesday when we were downtown for St. Patty’s Day, a number of people changed on the bus and left that kind of stuff on the bus, so it was partially understandable. On the other hand, we’re all grown ups and should be able to think ahead about what we need for the next couple days if we’re not going to have access to the bus. As the great Adam Nagy would say, “It’s simple.”

Other than a few guys being ready to go, the experience at the high school was pretty cool. Todd Peterson, BCHS’s choral department head was very gracious and welcoming of us, and it didn’t go unnoticed. I thought it was funny though for the second show on the trip there were signs welcoming us as “Purdue Glee” instead of “Purdue Glee Club.” That damn show on Fox isn’t helping us out at all!! πŸ˜›

We performed for about 50 minutes for some of the choral and band students, so it was pretty cool. High school students are generally pretty fun to perform for. It’s a nice little ego booster sometimes when you have a roomful of high school girls screaming for you. I need that ego boost from time to time too, so it was a nice. Voiceovers did “Trashin’ the Camp” and “Fireflies,” and they really liked both of those. After we were done singing, Bill opened to floor to questions, and we actually got some decent questions relative to others we’ve had in the past.

They provided sandwiches for lunch for us, so we enjoyed that while some of the students stuck around to sing. Then, Bill pulled a move that I really appreciated. The people of the high school obviously soaked up every song we sang, so after lunch when we were just kind of hanging out, he had us sing some more, and they absolutely loved it. I appreciated that he was willing to go a little outside the plan to entertain the high school students.

They even had a small handful of guys before a few a capella songs for us. Same idea as Voiceovers except that we use a beat boxer and they didn’t. They were pretty good. They sang “Barbara Ann” “For the Longest Time,” and one other I think. I was pretty impressed. Mr. Peterson had his girls choir perform a few songs for us, and they were pretty good too.

After they were done singing, they shared something with us that I just thought was so cool. Apparently a number of years ago when Mr. Peterson started, there was a lot of turmoil between choirs and whatnot, so he found a song to strengthen the bond within the program. The song is called “Unity,” and from what I understand it they sing it at the end of every concert. It’s just something that’s very special to their students. Mr. Peterson asked if he could teach it to us, so he did. After we learned it we all got in a big circle, held hands and sang this unifying song. I thought it was a pretty cool token of theirs to share with us. We often times stress unity and brotherhood with the Glee Club, and it was pretty cool to share that with a group that feels the same way.

They have a line of the lyrics up on the wall in the choral room, and I wrote down the lyrics:

Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.

I don’t know. Some of the guys probably thought it was silly, but I really liked being able to share that kind of experience with people who are just as passionate about music as we are.

After performing at the high school we headed out for the Royal Poinciana Golf Club of Naples. If you’ve read my previous post, you know I have some not-so-fond memories from this club the last time we were here two years ago. No such problems this year πŸ™‚

We set up, soundchecked and were ready to go. They provided a tv for us to watch the Purdue tournament game. It was good to be able to actually catch the game. The boys played pretty well. We’re definitely proud of our Boilermakers, and I’m definitely looking forward to their next game.

The show itself went well. As I’ve mentioned, we’ve been performing at a very high level, and I feel this show was no different in the performance aspect. It was a little over an hour of rockin’ music, despite some technical issues. We were having issues with some of the onstage monitors which made specialty stuff difficult. Also, their stage was really cramped, so we packed all 50 of us onto about 2 and a half rows worth of risers. It got a little close and personal at times, but that keeps it interesting sometimes.

Although a large number of the audience members at the show were not-so-subtly intoxicated, the rest of the audience members were very welcoming of us. Some of our greatest friends of PMO were there, so it was great!

It’s been an interesting Spring Break tour, I’ll say that. The performances have been top-notch, that’s for sure. I hope we continue to produce this kind of high-quality show for the rest of the semester.

I will admit, I’m looking forward to being back home and sleeping in my own bed.

Thank you to those who followed my blog throughout Spring Break, and a special thank you to those who have followed all along. It’s been fun. I wish I could’ve brought all of you along with us! I’ll try and keep up the posts, although I probably won’t have as good of pictures or cool stories, but I’ll see what I can do. πŸ™‚

Take care, and my love to all of you!