Wednesday, January 1, 2014

5th City: Athens, GA - University of Georgia Performing Arts Center {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. 

So I've never been to Georgia and I was so excited about EVERYTHING. I may or may not have asked what timezone we would be in when we got there...

It's a GEORGIA Peach!
Full disclosure, the only thing I was concerned about regarding this tour was whether or not I would implode from riding on a tour bus for hours at a time all through the South. The fact is, it was such a good time. Every single time we stopped, it didn't matter if we were at a sprawling outdoor mall or a tiny gas station - we made the absolute most of it. It was like one long field trip.
Darnell, John, and Josh

We got to Athens while the sun was still out. It was a proper day off so we got to catch up on laundry and sleep. Some of us went to explore the college town not too far away from us. This was the first city that I completely indulged in a day off. We layed by the pool and tanned and it was just luxurious and incredible. I was having trouble making any of this make sense. Like, this is supposed to be WORK? I'm having the time of my life, I'M SITTING BY A POOL ON A WEEKDAY.

I would say the coolest part of this particular leg of the trip was getting to know everyone better and relaxing. One super amazing is-this-real-life thing that happened was being invited to a dinner party at the last minute. There were some extra seats available to dine with Mr. Marsalis and a few band members at a close colleagues home. When I say they welcomed the 5 of us that came to the dinner party with open arms, I mean it! There was savory beef stew, hearty
The most Southern picture I've ever taken
potatoes, perfectly sweet Sweet Tea, and let's not even TALK about dessert. Okay, no, let's talk about it. Pecan Pie. And so much of it that they let us take a couple back to the hotel with us to share with the others.

Anyway, the next day we performed at the University of Georgia Performing Arts Center and for some reason, I only took a picture of the ceiling. This might've been because my hair was still a hot mess from Charlotte and I was waiting until after soundcheck to let someone who really know what they were doing (Hey Chenee!) to hook me up.

I might be mixing days up but after the show, a few of the band members and Mr. Marsalis were standing in the lobby eating some of the local cuisine (read: Ribs) and I asked a choral member if she'd come with me to take my picture with him. I still hadn't really figured out how to greet him but I figured it was now or never, or else people would think I was making this whole thing up. I probably said "Um, hello, uh sir? Can I er, takeapicturewithyousorryyoureating" and I'm certain he replied, "What? Of course!" And there you have it, my first picture with Mr. Wynton Marsalis. Is this real life?

My First Picture with the legend Wynton Marsalis!

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