Friday, August 21, 2009


It’s now August, of course. Hey, it took me less than seven weeks to finish the trip report this time, unlike the four months it took for my last trip!
It’s always a bit of a mind-bender to write these reports in “real time,” but weeks after the fact, if you know what I mean. I have to put myself back into my mindset as it was at the time, even though there have been further developments since the trip. If you’re interested, here is a wrap-up of a few things:

Facebook was a new feature of this trip, both in posting my activities there and being able to keep track of others in the chorus. I didn’t realize how much my trip was being followed, though, until I got back and found that every Facebook status update I made was being faithfully copied into a thread on for my Disney “family” to follow along there. I was both honored by the attention, and a little worried that they had so little happening in their own lives that they could spend so much time tracking mine!

My asthma really was worse than it ever had been. After our return, it ended up taking about ten days, two doctor visits, three different steroids (one in pill form, one inhaled, and one injected), one additional prescription med, and maximum inhaler use until it cleared up. They all worked, though; since then, my breathing has been back to normal.

My parents and aunt and uncle all made it home safely about a week after our return, having driven to some amazing natural wonders in Utah and Colorado. My parents just celebrated their actual 50th anniversary last Friday. (Yay Mom & Dad!)

Highlights on the trip for me were these: singing around the pool with my VM brothers, dining at Club 33 – what a treat! – and riding the Tower of Terror for the first time. And, of course, getting to spend time and share these experiences with my family was wonderful as always.

Lowlights – are pretty obvious: scoring higher than any chorus in history (to that point) and still only getting the silver medal, and the exhaustion/asthma attack that slowed me down so much in the second half of the trip. Oh, and I didn’t get to see Mickey, except once from a distance!

The Vocal Majority’s silver medal has taken a lot of getting used to by our chorus. We’re still happy for the Ambassadors of Harmony (you can see there amazing gold-medal performance here), but even seven weeks later it’s hard to get our brains wrapped around the concept of the Vocal Majority losing. That’s what happens, I guess, after a three-decade winning streak! (One wag recommending adopting as our slogan for the coming year: “VM Gold in 2010: Because Second Place Sucks!”)

Still, after taking off the remainder of July, the chorus is back rehearsing and more pumped than ever about the coming year. The attitude, the VM work ethic, continues to be, “Hey, we’re proud of what we’ve done. But that’s behind us – now let’s get better.” And that is exactly what we’re working to do. (And a good thing, too – we may have to score all 100’s to ensure a win!)

Oh, one more thing – the Disney / Vocal Majority connection that had me all excited about this trip in the first place? It’s happening again, although in reverse and on a slightly smaller scale:

We’re rehearsing now for our Fall show series, and our guest quartet will be: the Humdingers!!!

Okay, you’re not excited, I can tell. But that’s just because the “Humdingers” name is not as well known as the name they usually perform under. You see, their typical workplace is Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World. Disney owns the name of their barbershop quartet, so they use the Humdingers everywhere else that they perform.
Yep. The Dapper Dans are on the Vocal Majority fall shows! (Tickets are available here!)
The VM has a full calendar of shows over the next year, plus competition at the District level in Little Rock in October and at the International convention next July – this time in Philadelphia. And so the countdown to VM’s twelfth gold has begun again!

I sincerely hope you enjoyed this trip report – thanks for reading! Just remember, if you had half as much fun reading it as I did writing it, then, well, I had twice as much fun as you. Sorry.

See you next summer in Philly!