Guelph Tour Day 4: A Wintery Wizard

Your kids are working so hard and still managing to keep it all together. Today was the 4th action packed day on tour. We started with a very early morning gathering at 7:45am when 26 Guelph singers/ chaperones joined our 25 on a coach to Toronto. We have a personable and conscientious driver named Darryl- he’s our man for the next 2 more days too.

The snow was slushy feathers of snow and sleet like we get at home, and many people must have stayed home because the 401 into Toronto was smooth sailing going into town. We got to the CN Tower, looked up, and sadly… 1/2 way up it disappeared into thick low lying clouds. At first we wondered if we should cancel going up since we wouldn’t be able to see anything up at the top. However, when we polled the kids, our crew all wanted to go up to the top ANYWAY. I’m sure the Guelph kids were rolling their eyes thinking we were insane to go ahead with the tickets to go up in such conditions, but being the gracious hosts that they are, most of them joined us.

Well! Who knew that being at the top of the CN Tower in a white out would be such hysterical fun?!?!? The glass floor was bananas- I can’t even imagine standing on it if you could see all the way down. Quite a few singers were freaking at the height and at their fear of stepping near this glass floor. I was so proud of the kids who faced their fears and eventually all the kids got a minimum of one foot on the floor. We have photos to prove it too.

After the frenzied shrieks around the glass floor, we discovered going outside in the snow and WIND… it just about blew you right over! And the decks were slushy so for some of the smaller singers, the wind actually blew them along the deck like they were ice- sailing. Craaaazzzeeee. More shrieks of hysteric fun.

We ended up having about 90 minutes in Eaton Centre- like our Pacific Centre or Metrotown Mall. The first order of business was to eat at the food fair. It’s a pretty terrific food fair- at least triple the number of choices we have at Coquitlam Centre, and a surprising number of places catering to vegetarians and healthy foods. Our young guys in the groups quickly got the hang of shopping with gals who just want to browse at boring clothes stores: one GYS singer said, “look- just get me something at Dairy Queen and I’ll go wherever you want.” So there they were, eating ice cream outside of Bath & Body, while a group of gals sniffed every bottle of bath bubbles in the store.

We walked out of the mall and across the street to the ornate Ed Mirvish Theatre where we saw the new production of The Wizard of Oz. What a show! With a real Toto that was adorable! I won’t spill the beans, but if the show comes to Vancouver, or you have the opportunity to see it… GO! Our kids were mesmerized the entire time. Angela was oh so proud that a couple of people specifically told her how well behaved our group was. And they WERE!

Back on the bus, we stopped and picked up our boxed dinners that were all ready for us, so that we could eat while we headed back to Guelph. At the Guelph Youth Music Centre (GYMC) we had a rehearsal with Linda Beaupre and the full GYS choir. Now you must know that I’ve been a fan of Linda’s for as long as I’ve been working with children’s choirs. Having the opportunity to hear how she works with the choir, how she rehearses, how she tackles trouble spots, hearing the GYS alongside our singers… all extremely valuable and the reason for coming here. An hour later, when we rehearsed on our own, Coastal Sound singers had a whole new perspective on what it means to be singing with precision, full body sound and rich vowels. And we are leaving GYS with our “Village” choreography to play with, so that feels good- that we have something to offer them too.

The Guelph and Coastal Sound singers are sure mixing and enjoying each other now. It’s so fun to see them making new friends and finding kindred spirits.

Tomorrow we are off to Niagara region for an over night trip. Our chaperones are making the call that the bus ride to Niagara will be the “sleeping” bus… a little forced rest and sleep is needed if we are going to keep up this pace and still be able to sing well.

That goes for me too- I’ve gotta sleep now too.

And… it’s still snowing outside.