Day 11: St. Paul Concert

This morning we awoke to a decent flurry of snow in the air. Though the air is not as bitterly dry as in Chicago, it can get fairly chilly here in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St Paul, and today was one such chilly day. We had a good amount of time free today before our afternoon rehearsal at the Hamline Methodist Church for this evening’s concert.

Most of the men decided to explore fully the Mall of America, an enormous shopping mall complete with cafes, restaurants, and a theme park in the middle. Two of us started the day by indulging in a neck and shoulder massage to get us nice and loose for the concert. As my head was stuck in the squishy face hole in my massage table, I was unable to see what was going on next to me, but bass lay clerk Henry Hawkesworth was letting out occasional high-pitch shrieks; whether these were pleasure or pain it is unclear, but it certainly entertained his giggling masseur! Some shopping followed, and a lunch of American ribs, before it was time to tackle some roller coasters. The more fool hardy leapt from ride to ride, being spun upside down, inside out and all manner of ways round. Some of us slid down America’s tallest helter-skelter, and several of us enjoyed a thrilling log flume. Exhausted, excited, and considerable poorer than we’d been this morning, we got a taxi from this shrine to capitalism over to the church where we rehearsed. By this stage of tour, rehearsals are more along the lines of ‘sound checks’ rather than actual rehearsals, but they do provide us the chance to adapt the performance to the particular space in which we find ourselves.

After a yummy pizza dinner, it was show time, and everyone enjoyed giving this performance to the very appreciative people of the twin cities. The concert was recorded by Minnesota Public Radio for later broadcast, so I hope you’ll be able to find a link somewhere here once it’s ready. When you can eventually listen, keep an ear out for the beautiful solo at the start of The Lord is my Shepherd, sung by George – one of our star senior choristers.

For me, it was then over to a cocktail bar just outside town with my hosts, for a night cap and some onion rings before heading back and to bed. Tomorrow we fly to Toronto for our final stop. I’m excited for my first trip to Canada, and also now excited to get home, sleep in my own bed, see my girlfriend, and stop having to deal with the confusingly-designed American change!

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