A College so rich

in musical talent

Timothy Brown, conductor, former Director of Music (1979-2010)


USA December 2017 Tour Blog: Day 9

Date: Thursday 14 December 2017 12.15pm


Vermont.  -16 degrees.  Sun shining low in the sky.  Clare College Choir set out for day 9.  The day ahead: travel, travel…and more travel.  Their voyage took the hardy explorers down Route 93, perhaps quote Graham Ross, “The most beautiful part of all America.”.  Indeed, it is true, the snow glistening on the southern slopes of White Mountain National Park could melt the heart of even the iciest Briton.  The odyssey from St. Johnsbury to Lubbock, Texas – surely a direct flight...but no.  Our wanderings through America would not only take us through 5 states on this fateful day, but also take us to the depths of our very own souls; when one travels with 29 others in a confined space (sometimes very confined, see below), one truly discovers the person they are.  We passed through New Hampshire and arrived at Boston, Massachusetts – we were thus far in one piece…


Unlike Nick’s melodrama suggests, the coach journey from Vermont to Boston really was not so traumatic, including a coffee stop at ‘Common Man Joe’s’, a lovely place where fruit looked as if it had originated from a prehistoric cave and sandwiches resembled door wedges. Perhaps the favourite comment was from G, who claimed he had an “impressive moo” (corroborated by Lady Box). Upon arriving at Boston, we were all raring to get on the first of our two planes. After a longer stay in airport security than at most of our previous tour destinations, a few frantic games of Bananagrams (of which, obviously I was the Banana Queen ;P) and a bout of plane-watching (as fun as it sounds, we promise) we boarded the plane, anticipating free pretzels and a nap.


The lights dim, the floor shudders, a voice speaks out in the darkness…” Welcome to Denver, Colorado, we hope you have a pleasant stay.”.  Our 1 hour long airport layover was most definitely pleasant.  Georgie ‘Please take some CD’s guys!’ Gulliver was particularly excited by certain American haute cuisine with the euphoric cry “OMG IT’S CHICK FIL-A!”.  But this comfortable air-lounge repose could not last.  The choir folded themselves limb-by-limb, painfully contorting necks, knees and elbows into the rattling iron-maiden, known to professionals as an ‘aeroplane’.  If the sweltering cramped conditions were not already challenging enough for our young choir members, the pass-agg (maybe just agg.) Guardian of the Gateway (airhost) tested the limits of our British sensibilities and politeness to the extreme.  Michael ‘Cabin rules don’t apply to me’ Hong was almost responsible for a premature landing mid Oklahoma; but luckily, he moved his feet back in from the aisle and disaster was averted.


A bumpy touch-down welcomed us to Lubbock, and we raced off the plane to escape the tiny metal box that certain members of the choir literally were unable to stand up in (*cough* Jackson and Henny). We shuffled out of the plane and into the airport. Without wishing to be stereotypical, the airport literally had tumble-weed moving across the floor in this ghost-airport. However, the apparition of the baggage reclaim gave the zombie-like travellers some hope…until it too seemed to be barren… Yet, the welcomes of the host families ameliorated the atmosphere, as their Texan twang and their wide grins cheered even the grumpiest student. With madly beautiful Christmas lights and huge homes, the shattered choristers went to bed, ready for the exciting prospect of a whole day in Lubbock.

See you on day 10 y’all!


Julia “I’m actually a Soprano, in case you didn’t know” Morris

Nick “I really don’t talk about myself that much guys” Hendy