A missile welded to the roof of a camper van is not a usual sight to see from the tour-bus window. We overtook it on the freeway just outside Bethlehem, PA. Today, we drove about six hours from Morristown to Harrisonburg for our next concert at James Madison University. Travel days are never glamorous and everyone dreads these sorts of journeys in the tour schedule, but, in Tenebrae style, we made the most of it and had a great day.
If you like double bacon cheeseburgers with grilled onions, peppers, jalapenos, lettuce, mayo, and pickles with a side of fries and a lady who “loves your accent” I can recommend the Five Guys at the services near Gettysburg. The fun really began on the second leg of the journey when quizmaster extraordinaire, Hannah King, delivered a quiz of University Challenge quality to keep us all entertained, with questions like “Who do you think was taller, Brahms or Bruckner?” Amy and I suggested Bruckner’s brass writing must be compensating for something, and therefore he must be shorter. The highlight of the journey was the baby photo round, and I can’t begin to describe how funny it is to see your chubby-faced colleagues in bonnets and nappies.
The previous day we travelled from Princetown to Morristown, passing the New York skyline on the train, to perform at the Presbyterian Church. The first order of business was to eat tacos. They were the best tacos I have ever eaten. Battling the food coma, we rehearsed in the venue which had a beautiful domed ceiling, and was very easy to sing in. I stood at the back next to the promoters to sing some Alleluias in the Tavener, and it was such a treat to hear the choir singing so well and to see how much it meant to Ignatius and Matt. The American audiences have been so welcoming, and it was great for us to speak to so many students who stayed to chat after the concert.
We got to Harrisonburg quicker than we expected. Probably something to do with being followed by a missile. Jacob ran a yoga session by the hotel pool to stretch out the bus journey, and most people hit the gym and pool afterwards. Finish the day with a bibimbap bowl at a Korean restaurant, washed down by sake cocktails, and it was an early night for us all. I try to convince my wife that touring is really hard work, but reading through this blog of good food, nice people, swimming pools and fun times, I’ll have my work cut out.
It’s Bruckner by the way. Brahms was only 5’7”.