With our celebrity-spotting behind us (Conan’s actually still in the room with his cameras, but we’ve seen enough), Brandon and I go to do some earnest shopping.
He wants to get the latest release from last year’s chorus champs the Masters of Harmony, as well as 2007 quartet gold-medalists Max Q. We go to the Masters’ booth first for their CD, and then to the Vocal Majority booth for Max Q’s.
Carol Anderson and a few VM guys are standing there chatting about the Conan experience. Turns out that Conan O’Brien came to the VM booth and interviewed Carol, and also asks if she could drum up a quartet that Conan could sing with! She desperately started calling the members of Max Q on their cell phones to see how quickly they could get over to the Hilton, but apparently without success.
With our shopping done, we leave the Hilton for the Sheraton. As we exit the Hilton’s front entrance, Jim & Judy Clancy are there, as is Greg. Jim is the longtime director of the Vocal Majority, the winningest director in the history of the Society, a super-talented arranger, vocal coach, and clinician, as well as being one of the most recorded bass jingle-singers in the world. (Dallas-area readers, if you’ve heard that deep bass voice singing “Bob-Bob We-estway Ford,” you’ve heard Jim Clancy.) He is also one of the nicest men I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.
I’m content with a quick wave, but Becky trots over to say “hi” to Jim’s wife Judy. Becky’s been going to a few meetings of the “VM Women” in preparation for this trip – they’ve cooked up some surprise for us for tomorrow night after our last rehearsal – and she’s gotten to know Judy enough to want to chat a bit.
Once the greetings are exchanged, we set out again for the Sheraton. It’s not a long walk, and the temperature is only in the low 80’s, but the skies are clear and the direct sunlight does warm us up a bit. I’m relieved to get back inside to the air conditioning.
We’re back in our room around 2:30. While the boys go downstairs to swim, I don’t have a great deal of plans for the remainder of the afternoon besides resting. That seems odd, even to me, considering we haven’t done a lot to be resting from just yet, but I’m really trying to plan ahead here. While I’ve made great progress since my right ankle and foot were rebuilt last September, I know that this week will push my endurance to the limits.
The VM has three hours of rehearsal scheduled for tonight, and six hours scheduled tomorrow, followed by a two-hour reception. Friday morning will have us in the “contest pipeline,” a multi-hour process involving warmup, rehearsal, pictures, more warmup, transportation to the Honda Center, and performance. Then Saturday we’ll have more rehearsal, by ourselves and with the Masters and Ambassadors, and Saturday afternoon is the Harmony Foundation Presents... Show with those other two choruses. And if (when?) we win our twelfth gold medal, the VM will be performing at the start of the Quartet Finals on Saturday.
After all of that is over, then my family and I will spend three full days in Disneyland. You bet I’m resting when I can!