Wednesday, May 16, and Thursday, May 17
By JT Cattle, tenor, 2012-2013 Drake Choir officer
As the Drake Choir prepared for our international travels, we first had to get back to work after a week away from rehearsals because of final exams. Following three days of rehearsals and recording sessions (May 14-16), Wednesday afternoon was our final send-off, by means of the pre-tour concert at 4:30. This performance was special in many ways, but for our graduating seniors, it was their last Sheslow performance, one of many memories they’ll carry with them from their time in Drake Choir. The afternoon ended with a generous ice cream social provided by Drake President David Maxwell.
Finally Thursday came, the day we’ve all been waiting for. The 64 choir members, along with the ten parents and friends of the choir who have joined us for the tour, left the Des Moines Airport in three shifts, starting at 3 p.m. The first and last groups had a bit of a delay but we all made it to Minneapolis in time to grab dinner before our 9:40 p.m. departure. With any large group, roll call is necessary. So what better way to do that than to line up in choir formation?! Having done that , fellow passengers began to ask us about our tour and to wish us well on our travels. After that quick check, we were in line and heading for our seats, ready for the approximately eight hour flight to London.
While some fell asleep quickly, others took advantage of the movie line-up and snacks. The six-hour time difference will take some adjustment, but we had an uneventful flight and were ready to meet our tour managers, Tom Doyle and Anita Baker, along with the coach drivers, Ceri and Chris, following our on-time landing at noon, London time. It was a long day of travel, but our excitement at the many adventures ahead will carry us through our Friday afternoon visit to Stonehenge and hotel check-in.