Thursday, August 4, 2011

UK Tour Wrap-Up

By: Marlon Matthews, Young Men's Ensemble
Marlon has been in BCC for 8 years. He is 15 years old.

The tour to the United Kingdom was the 7th annual tour of the Boston Children's Chorus, and our 4th international trip. It was unlike any of the previous three international trips to Japan, Mexico, and Jordan because the culture shock was more subtle. M
any things we saw in the UK (except castle ruins and double-decker buses) are also in the U.S. What really struck a lot of the choir members were the little things, like how much lower the overall noise level is, how the sun was only down for about four hours, or how the rat race mentality of the US seems to have had no effect on the UK. Everything over there still ran smoothly and with efficiency, but the manner in which people got work done was as if they weren't working at all!
Marlon wants YOU to read his blog post!
However, the tour still shared its similarities with previous tours. On every tour that I can remember we have collaborated with other groups that use some form of music to create social change. During the tour to the UK we collaborated with even more groups that usual, including three choruses, one orchestra, and a rap group. The rap group was named IGNITE and I think it's safe to say that their message hit closest to home among the three groups we met. IGNITE is a group that was formed to break down the walls of separation between communities that may have tension due to gangs other social problems through rap and other musical styles. The other four groups we collaborated with, the children's choruses and orchestral school, didn't have the same mission we did entirely, but their music was beautiful.

This tour gave us the opportunity to stand out as leaders because, nearly everywhere we went, we had the opportunity to teach our new friends a song or two. I realized that, although Premier Choir and Young Men's Ensemble graduated 14 seniors this year, it does not mean we are going downhill - there are lots of new leaders prepared to step up to the plate! That was especially obvious when we were doing workshops for younger kids, which we did in addition to our collaborations.

Another similarity that this tour shared with all those before it is that it was a great time for bonding. Tour is a great opportunity to form and nurture relationships. When we are put in this situation, far from our families and our homes, singers understand that we are truly a family, and that family sticks together. This goes for everyone: staff, students, old singers, and new.
BCC is a great place to make friends, but it's easiest to get to know the people that are sitting near you during rehearsal, especially since we don't have too many formal social events during the year.

Tour is the best time for people in the same choir to branch out and get to know other people, and even cross over the line and get to know the singers that they don't know well in the other choir. Personally, I got to know a lot of the girls in PC that I would not have otherwise. I saw some guys I haven't seen say more than a word all year sitting in a group of guys and girls and talking as if they'd known each other for years!

Stay tuned...until next year's tour! If you want to see more photos make sure to look at the slideshow on our website!