Yesterday, Day 3, was epic. So full of beautiful moments. Words seem inadequate to describe it all.
After another big breakfast (we are all mastering the waffle maker), we departed for Kangaroo Creek Farm in Lake Country, 15 minutes north of Kelowna. We were some of the first visitors to arrive, and got to spend some quality time communing with ‘roos, wallabys, wallaroos, maras, capybaras, a sugar glider, emus….. recognize those animal names??? We didn’t know what they all were either! But we do now! Everyone of all ages had grins of wonder and amazement on their faces, being able to get up close to feed and pat lounging kangaroos. Lots of ‘buddy selfies’ taken with these docile animals. I say “docile” because these animals were used to human contact, but we could see how powerful they were, and noticed their huge long claws. I’m sure you’ve seen videos of “Kangaroo boxing”… lucky for us, these ‘roos were small.
Imagine us wandering around an open field with Kangaroos sproinging around, and us feeding them, stroking their super soft fur… so fun. In other parts of the farm, we got to have exotic birds sit on our shoulder, or hold a crusted gecko. Everyone loved holding the darling sugar glider-a flying possum about the size of a chimpmunk.
At 11:30 we started our outdoor concert under the gazebo. Peacocks strutted around beside us, showing off their spectacular feathers, “singing” along with us! Their musical timing of peacock calls of “ralph” was impeccable. By the end of this performance, Youth Choir had found their fan club: everyone in Children’s Choir with a camera crowded around to video their finale. 🙂
We had some time after the farm to chillax at the hotel or go for lunch. Well, everyone except our superstar chaperone team that is. They were out buying supplies for our dinner and concert. 55 bottles of gatorade is a HEAVY load when there is no car available!
All gussied up in our formal concert dress, we headed downtown Kelowna to the cultural district, to the Kelowna Art Gallery. What a lovely space! The acoustics of the gallery were excellent- always inspiring to sing in a space like that. Children’s and Youth choirs took turns performing and visiting the Susan Point exhibit.
Down the street at the big white dolphin fountain, Mount Boucherie Secondary was gathering for their prom photos. The whole area was filled with colourful gowns and throngs of celebrating families, so plans for a photo there with our choirs was thwarted.
We had a chance to eat pizza with OCC Youth Choir, and some quick sound and blocking checks, then it was concert time!!!
Taylor Bone, conductor of the new OCC Youth, started singing in Coastal Sound when she was a child, and she sang all the way through her school years in the Children’s and Chamber Choirs. Taylor’s mom, who’d been a tour chaperone and involved with Coastal Sound for many years, was also in the audience. Another alumnus, Ryan K had driven down from Vernon with his wife and baby to see us perform! It was emotional for all of us, to recognize the “full circle-ness” of it all: young choristers singing songs that Ryan and Taylor had sung years ago. A real trip down memory lane. And another affirmation that Coastal Sound experiences are a big part of people’s lives.
All the choirs sang their best last night. OCC and OCC Youth sang with beautiful tone and commitment. Coastal Sound Youth Choir had us in tears with their powerful performance of Warrior, cheering and grinning at Hello Mary Lou… I shouldn’t give away any more spoilers here because their concert is June 2nd. GET TICKETS HERE because the show is going to be fantastic!!! Suffice it to say that these 17 touring singers (about 1/2 the actual Youth Choir) were AMAZING last night: emotional, hilarious, entertaining, musical… and there I was in the audience bawling and beaming at hearing them rise to the occasion. Coastal Sound Children’s Choir also proved last night that they can totally bring it. I was SO PROUD of them. Heart overflowing.
This is a good moment to highlight the outstanding artistry of our pianists, David and Barry. My feeble description here doesn’t suffice. You need to hear them live to understand how their musicianship supports and totally enhances the choirs. We are SO fortunate to have David and Barry at the piano for our choirs!!!
Back at the hotel, you’d think all those singers would be exhausted! But no. The mix of gatorade, euphoria/relief and all those other “feel good” endorphins were raging in their youthful bodies… but it sounds like everyone was at least in their rooms and somewhat quiet by 11pm. No mercy in the morning from any chaperones! 😉