BYRON – Last month the Byron choirs returned from their choir tour to Los Angeles and Santa Monica, Calif.
The choirs packed in many activities during their five days in California. A highlight of the trip was a performance at the CalVet Veterans home. Many of the veterans stayed after the concert and talked with the students, telling them stories of their military service and other aspects of their lives. The students are always very touched by them sharing these stories with them. As the members of the choir loaded the bus, a veteran in his electric cart followed them out. He saluted the bus before the choir pulled away.
Another activity that the choir participating in was a recording session at Disneyland. They were taken back stage for a 3 -hour recording session with Cynthia McGarity. McGarity has toured Japan as a lead singer of The Young Americas, she also has been a lead vocalist in three different ensembles in California. She has also vocal coached an episode of NBC Studios’ Parks and Recreation. McGarity chose two Disney songs for the group and worked with them on learning the notes, singing with expression and feeling, and singing in the correct voice type for the song. During the session the students then were recorded by a technician who spliced the vocal track to the Disney cartoon. To end the session the kids were able to watch the final product.
Another performance the students were asked to do was at the House of Blues. There was a live performer who asked if the choir would like to perform a piece of music during his set. The choir accepted his nice gesture and performed “Pure Imagination” from the Willy Wonka Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie. The House of Blues was full of patrons who were there for dinner and they gave a full round of applause for them when they finished.
Other stops on their tour included visiting the Grammy Museum, where the kids interacted with a live music set and recording equipment. Visiting the California Science Center, where they were able to see the Space Shuttle Endeavor, the Space Shuttle whose missions were to repair the Huddle Telescope and attach items to the Space Center. They also took tours of Hollywood Blvd, Egyptian Theater, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Sony Studios, and attended a dinner theater to watch “Singing in the Rain.” Another stop on the tour was Santa Monica where the kids enjoyed the pier and the beach and ended with dinner at Bubba Gumps. On the last day they drove to the Griffith Observatory for the best view of the Hollywood sign.
The choirs would like to thank the public for all the support to get them to California, and their parents and school board for providing them the opportunity to attend this wonderful tour.