Monday, December 30, 2013

Second City: Norfolk, VA - Chrysler Hall {Tour Life}

In October 2013, I went on my first National Tour with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. I sang the Abyssinian Mass written by Mr. Marsalis with Chorale Le Chateau led by Damien Sneed. 

Our next stop was Norfolk VA to sing in the Chrysler Hall. After two days in Chapel Hill, I was almost sad to leave. Then of course I remembered we had so many other cool places to go to.

We got to the hotel pretty early in the afternoon after a bit of a drive and the weather was just incredible. I don't think I ever got used to how deliciously warm the temperatures remained while we were out. We got to our rooms and still had some time to enjoy our surroundings. We were right on the water so a bunch of us went out back and pretended we were on vacation for like 5 minutes before it was time for soundcheck.

This time around when we got to the Chrysler Hall, we couldn't help but take pictures of the house. And some of us (read: me) thought it might be cool to have a photoshoot all the way downstage. So much fun!!

After another delicious dinner, we got ready for show 3. This was a great audience too and we got a great ovation from them. After the show, I was so wired from all the energy. I was starting to hear the piece in a much more different way than I ever had in rehearsal or even in the 2 previous shows.

Additionally, we found out that The Virginia Arts Festival had an after-party and invited us to it. This was the first of a few surprise events that occurred after the concert. I remember thinking to myself  "Wow really La Toya, all of the dresses that you have in your suitcase and you didn't think to bring one with you for after the show?!" But like everything, it was completely fine for us to hang out as we were. We all had on our Chorale Le Chateau hoodies so it was uniformed enough. The food was delicious and the wine was plentiful. We all got back on the tour buses and threw an impromptu dance party...on the bus, because, tour life.

When we got back to the gorgeous hotel, who was sitting on the couches in the lobby but the man himself! I was probably the last to know that Wynton is the coolest most approachable dude ever, so when I saw him there, I immediately thought of the most professional greeting to say so that, you know, I'd look professional when greeting him. I probably said "Good evening Mr. Maestro Marsalis sir" and courtesyed or tipped an invisible hat or something, who knows, seemed appropriate! I was so tired that night and thankful for the experience in Norfolk and was very ready to get to DC the next morning!
Photo credit: Frank Stewart

Here's a clip of us singing the Our Father that evening

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