Potter HallAt registration it turns out Ben, at 17, needs a 'Supervisor' so I'm it. Chorus members filter in during the day. Seventh Heaven's bari, Andre Carriere, got bumped from the AC flight and was rerouted through LGA. Good thing I flew out on standby yesterday. Only major travel mishap is a guy who could not find his passport and will be delayed until Wednesday at the earliest. 
Evening General Session: Steve Armstrong of TNL taught and directed Ride the Chariot. Fixed a few notes and then 600 men and not a few women rang the hall like a bell. They will need to do some structural reassessment of the Massey Performing Arts Centre after we've sung for a week in there. 
An African American woman who is quite an activist in building community among children through music spoke passionately about our barbershop experience, its value for each of us personally and for the communities we can impact. A few of Her Met Singers taught the crowd a four part patter that was one of the first songs I quartetted with John S WilkieSteve Bangham, and the late Paul Tamblyn. 'Won't You Play a Simple Melody' brings back some sweet memories, personally reinforcing her message about the autobiographical sound track that is imprinted on our lives by singing. 
Had Ice Cream sang some crazy tags and went to bed.

As previously planned,  I went to Belmont church. Really friendly people. Worship team was amazing. Should have expected that in Nashville! Really warm tone, new - to - me songs plus familiar hymns with a slight twang 
Message was on 1 cor 14. And was part of a series, get this Evan Smith, on the ethos of Belmont church. The idea was that the experienced presence of the living God, not just the dissection of the idea of God, is a root aspiration of the church here. At the end of the service I was able to immediately pick up a cd of the message and another one of the worship music from the service. 
Meet up with Ben Knorr and we walked to Belmont U. What a beautiful campus! Talking while I walked through a gazebo on the way to registration and immediately marked it as a place for quartet practice. The roof forms a reflector to reinforce sounds as you pass through the centre. 
Our chorus is mostly in Potter Hall (Gryffindor! !) Nice bright, airy and air conditioned rooms. FOund the hall where our chorus will practice. It has three seconds reverb which made a lovely sound when a few of us sang, but it could be a trap for the chorus. Stayed and sang a few non-repertoire songs while Denis Laflamme played on a piano with, err, vintage tuning. Our small group massacred the lyrics to Piano man, crocodile rock and a few others before heading off campus for a beverage.

I met 2 barbershoppers on the plane. Andrew from our chorus and Ben, a 17 year old lead from Regina.  He's participating in the next gen chorus. Ben and I took a walk down Broadway saw Mecca (the Barbershop Harmony Society headquarters [closed on Saturdays])
 the country and western hall of fame,  and ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. All told it was six miles of walking in quite hot weather, just killing four hours until I could check into my hotel.  Still great to get to know Ben,  who is real musician.  Classical guitar, fiddle,  Lead/tenor,  composer and arranger.  Next Gen indeed!  

Also ran into Denis Laflamme and Aileen Carney downtown.  

I planned to go to Belmont Church at 5:00 for the acoustic service but after a shower my body refused to go out in the heat again.  So I'll take in one of the morning services.

The Summer of 2013 was dramatic for our congregation, and even more so for me and my family. In mid-July our friend and pastor Rev Neil Baxter was admitted to hospital in high fever, delirium and convulsions. It was meningitis, and it was his 60th wedding anniversary. (Later when things settled down, Lise joked that Neil would do anything to get out of going dancing.) I was already returning from vacation travel, and was able to see Neil in ICU, and join the congregation in prayer over this.

Erica and I arrived home from vacation to news that her job was redundant: she is laid off. Two weeks later, on our way to visit family in Guelph, our 15 year old dog died at a rest stop in Trenton. During that visit we were told that a wind storm had toppled a tree through the church roof. Our caretakers were also on vacation at the time. (Does it make you wonder if we should all just stay home?)


A quick Lenten commentary on the four Gospels, chapter by chapter.

New 2-3 chapters will be published each day through Lent 2020.