Tag Archives: New Mexico

Halfway

The Moody Men’s Collegiate Choir performed our seventh concert tonight, and tomorrow is the end of our first week on tour, which means that tonight we are about halfway finished with the 2011 Spring Tour.  So far, it’s been the best experience I’ve had at Moody to date.  All 37-ish of the Men’s Choir men are a riot, and riding on the bus with them is always a great experience.  We’ve explored the Southwest U.S., seen some amazing sights, performed in half a dozen churches, met plenty of wonderful people, and probably spent almost 24 total hours sitting in the tour bus shooting each other with darts and making lame puns.  All of this has, of course, created countless stories, memories, and inside jokes, including (but certainly not limited to) the victory dance and the step of doom, and I couldn’t be enjoying it more.  Tomorrow is our day off, and we’re headed to White Sands National Monument for a while before we make our way to El Paso where we’ll be performing three times at two different churches on Sunday (and did I mention the concert in Las Cruces in between?).  I’m looking forward to both the day of rest and the following day of insane busyness, because every day with the Men’s Choir is a day well worth the effort.  I can’t wait to spend another week on the road with them, and to post my favorite stories here for you, but for now, I need to get to sleep (and no, Mom, I didn’t stay up until 1 AM.  It’s only 10:45  here in New Mexico).  So until tomorrow, have a great night’s sleep and God bless!

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Best Day Ever

The Moody Men’s Collegiate Choir performed a concert in Albuquerque last night, and we had another one planned for tonight, so today we spent most of the day sightseeing.  I got to the church around 9:00 and we set off for Santa Fe.  After a short bus ride, we arrived at the New Mexico capital building and went in to see the rotunda and the Senate chamber.  It turns out that the Senate was set to start their first session of the year at 11:00, so Doc let us stay to see it begin.  What we didn’t find out until a little while later is that he also wandered off and somehow secured permission for us to sing The Star Spangled Banner from the gallery as a part of the official opening ceremony.  We had to wait for a while because the session didn’t really convene until 12:10, but when the time finally came we said the pledge of allegiance with all of the New Mexico senators and then sang the national anthem to kick off the first session of the 50th New Mexico Legislature.

After that, we went out to the Santa Fe town plaza and wandered through a few of the shops. We also got to explore the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.  They have holy water there, but it didn’t really feel that holy.  My friend Robert and I dipped our fingers in and made the sign of the cross anyway because that’s what you’re supposed to do with it.  From there, we went back to Albuquerque and stopped at Christ the King Anglican Church to set up for our concert.  As it turns out, that’s Fernando Ortega’s church.  Yes, the famous Fernando Ortega.  He came to our concert and listened to us sing, and in my opinion it was one of our best performances yet.

On top of all that, today is Saint Patrick’s Day, also known to some as my little brother’s birthday, so I called him while the choir was getting ready in our dressing room and they were all kind enough to sing “Happy Birthday” to him with me.  He really enjoyed it, and I was glad that I could still give him a gift from so far away.  All things considered, this was pretty much one of the most memorable days of my life.  I got to sing for the New Mexico Senate, Fernando Ortega’s church, and my little brother’s birthday all in one day, and I also got to eat cheesecake.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

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Palo Duro

Today, the Men’s Choir arrived early in Amarillo, TX, so we drove a few miles out of our way and spent twenty minutes in Palo Duro Canyon.  I can’t do the scenery justice with descriptions, so I asked my friend Jack if I could upload a few of the great pictures that he took.  He kindly obliged, so here for your viewing enjoyment are some pictures of the gorgeous Palo Duro Canyon.

A wide shot of the canyon from the drive down

Another sweeping view from the top of the canyon

A great view of the different layers of rock and dirt along the edge of the canyon

 

A closeup of the strata in the canyon wall

 

A look up at the canyon walls from the floor

This shot gives a good perspective of the depth and variety of the canyon's scenery

Jack, the photographer, with the canyon in the background

A few of the Tenor 2's relaxing in the canyon floor

Exploring the Southern United States, even in such short glimpses, has been an absolute treat.  The locals insist that the scenery is flat and uninteresting, but coming from Michigan, where you can’t look twenty feet without seeing a bunch of trees, I think it’s fantastic.  Hopefully I can come back and spend more time taking it in someday, but for now the tour must go on, so we’re heading to Albuquerque tomorrow for the next concert.  I hear there will be mountains, so I’m pumped.  What can I say?  I’m easily impressed.

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