If it’s Thursday, it must be Des Moines. Well to be accurate, we started in Kansas City and drove to Des Moines. The La Quinta had a pool and said they would let us swim early until we had to leave. However, there was a pool pump problem. The boys however thought that it was a plot to keep them out of the pool. Several of the younger boys were found pacing the hallways in anticipation of the moment it was open. It felt like the start of an Olympic race, for as the part clicked into place on the pool cleaner, the boys burst through the gate and dove into the pool. After swimming and eating Subway sandwiches for lunch, we boarded the bus for our ride to Des Moines.
The concert was held on the campus of Drake University. Many of you may know it for the nationally famous Drake Relays, an annual track and field event held here. It is a typical college campus, with walking paths lined with hardwoods and other mature trees with stately buildings. The only thing missing was the students. This concert was highly anticipated by the boys in this choir. Why, you ask? Because the Heartland Choir has girls (actual female singers) on stage with the boys at the same time. The hormonal surge was palpable as the sopranos and altos of the other choir filed into Sheslow Auditorium. As they joined us for ‘The Lord Bless You and Keep You’, only then did the older boys realize that the sopranos and altos would be with the younger boys. The forlorn look as these young women were interspersed among the ‘little guys’ was priceless.
The boys sang with the heartland tenor/basses on Loch Lomond and we got to hear standard SATB arrangements. Somehow we have grown used to the boy choir sound and now find a standard choir somehow lacking, but I think that happens to some extent to all parents of Kantorei members. We witnessed the most spirited renditions of Chatanooga Choo Choo and Walk/Sing that we have ever seen. We should bus in girls for all of our concerts and they would improve right away. After the concert, a few of the girls in their black gowns attempted to help pack up the drums and bass. They faux struggled to unscrew the high hat, somehow needing assistance and help with the smallest task. The boys descended on these girls like the 17-year cicadas and in the 10 minutes as the home stays were assigned; IM and email addresses were exchanged. The boys then were off to their respective homes for their nightly meet and greet.