Sunday, July 26, 2009

K's Great Adventure - part 1

In my last post (oh, so long ago), I told of K making the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir (AOSFYC). Well her adventure has begun.

First, if you want to write to her, click on this link and you can send an online message that will get printed out and given to her within 24-48 hours.

Or if you want to send an actual letter, they really like getting mail. Address it to her at:

All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir
Ohio ExpoCenter
717 East 17th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43211-2698

And if you want to keep up with their daily blog with new pictures each day: All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir blog.

The fair runs from July 29 through August 9. If you're planning on going, here is their concert schedule.

Okay, business out of the way.

This has been a month of preparation. Uniforms and music ordered and paid for; took K to the doctor for a physical (and tetanus booster was overdue) which then had to be notarized. Bought a footlocker, hanging organizer, laundry bag, accordian folder to organize sheet music, new toiletries, etc.

About a week before she was scheduled to report, her music packet arrived: 70-some pieces of music for her to go over and try to learn (with about 20 more to be received when she checks in), a CD recording of maybe 30 of the songs. K had performed a couple of them in different choirs, but has since changed from Soprano to Alto so she even had to relearn those. She spent a couple of afternoons with pianist friends who helped pick out the alto parts for her. A mentor was assigned to all of the rookies - K's mentor A called to see if she had any questions and introduce herself.

Drop off day came, K was all ready to go, packed and so excited. We drove to the fairgrounds and were directed to a parking spot. Before we were even out of the van, 4 of the boys in choir uniforms from last year were standing next to our back hatch waiting to unload and carry all of K's luggage and things. Everything was so organized - the whole check-in process for 200 high school kids and their parents and all the luggage and supplies needed for their over 2 week stay. And impressive - everyone greeted K (and us) with smiles and introductions, making her feel instantly welcome and included.

After getting checked in and photo id pictures taken, we were led up to the alto dorm. It is a barracks style dorm that sleeps 50 girls along with the alto staff member and a CIT (counselor in training). Two long rows of bunks, footlockers, girls, parents, siblings - all trying to get beds made and stuff stored and organized. K's mentor A found us at K's bunk and introduced herself and showed us the lay of the land - bathroom (with communal showers), water fountain (to fill their water bottles each day), cafeteria (for their 3 meals each day), and rehearsal areas. The whole time A was introducing K to other choir members.

At 7pm the entire choir was organized by voice part on the risers and the parents got their first look at the 2009 AOSFYC. They got out a piece of music, the director introduced himself and then they started singing. It was beautiful - 200 of the best high school singers in Ohio! I can't wait to hear them after they've been rehearsing together for a week!

It was hard to say goodbye to her after the concert knowing she won't be home till the last day of the fair, but she was anxious to get to her dorm meeting and the ice-breaker activities.

They are working hard, learning their songs and harmonizing, learning where things are around the fairgrounds before it opens to the public, learning to march, etc. And if you know K, the hardest part is that she can't have her cellphone except during free time! They are having a lot of fun too - they had a pizza party and a dance the other night, they learned how to salsa dance too. The friendships they are forming and the memories they are making - this is such a great opportunity for K!

They have an extra performance scheduled for Monday, July 27th. They are taking the kids to the Ohio Statehouse for a tour, then they are singing on the West lawn of the statehouse at 11:30 - if you are downtown that day, you should check it out!

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