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USA Tour 2019 Blog

BYU

Posted on 22nd November 2019

We had a rare morning off, and I began it by eating too much granola. As a relative newcomer to touring life, one thing I’m still learning is how to pace myself at hotel breakfasts. With an empty stomach and effectively unlimited food, I overdo it time after time. I realised I’ve developed a lot of respect for more experienced group members who sit smugly, having consumed at most three bowls over a period of at least half an hour.

I then ventured to the gym, and there I came across Andrew. I headed to the weights, and during the session I lifted the heaviest weight in the gym, thereby completing it. Andrew tried to do so in vain, and by the end I just felt sorry for him.

Several of us hiked the Y, an enormous letter whitewashed onto the mountain by Brigham Young University (BYU) who subsequently decided not to bother doing the B or the U. Climbing at altitude proved very challenging, especially for Vic who unfortunately felt quite unwell. Beth held her hair whilst gazing out at the gridded city. A few of us left Vic so we could make it to the top. We think it’s what she would have wanted.

We headed into BYU for our rehearsal, part of which was with singers from the University. It was amazing to witness the commitment and sincerity they brought to the music. Singing the Moses Hogan spiritual I want Jesus to walk with me, with Martha’s beautiful solo soaring over the hushed chorus accompaniment was a particular highlight.

We sang the concert at BYU to an incredibly appreciative audience. It wasn’t the easiest of concerts; several people were struggling with the altitude and it was surprising how much more difficult breath control became. However, the standing ovation we received at the end made all our efforts worthwhile.

After the concert I spoke to some lovely members of the audience. It was wonderful to see how much this choir and its work means to people. Incidentally, two of the people I met were twins, but only one wore glasses. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen that, and it’s been puzzling me ever since. If by some chance you’re reading this, was one of you wearing contacts?

After the concert we had a celebratory beer in the hotel, and I discussed with Alex and Andrew whether marriage was becoming a futile institution given ever increasing divorce rates. I didn’t sleep very well after that, but I suspect that was just the altitude.

-Tom Lilburn (countertenor)

Brigham Young UniversityBYUJoby TalbotNigel ShortPath of MiraclesTenebraetourUSA Tour