I faced a dilemma when trying to figure out what to call this series of blog posts. Last year, I called the tour blog “HGC in the South.” This year, HGC is again in the south, but this time we’re traveling around the southwest. I settled on “Sophomore Spring Tour” because I like the alliteration and assonance.
I woke from my deep slumber at 10:00 AM, and grabbed a quick breakfast of bagels and eggs before starting my adventure around downtown Phoenix. My fellow Glee Clubber and I walked past a park that was hosting an Irish culture festival and a music festival at the same time. We turned toward the main thoroughfare and passed the Phoenix Trolley Museum, which consists of a single shed squeezed in between the park and the street. At the end of the street, we came across the Phoenix Public Library, which is a monolith of a building. Inside, there are five stories, and the open floor plan disguises the fact that there are a ton of books at this library. Taking the elevator to the top floor, you can look out over part of downtown.
The library has a teen zone, a rare books section, a college prep department, and several art pieces scattered throughout. I later learned from my host (who was the former mayor of Phoenix) that the library has a unique architectural design whereby the roof is suspended between pillars that line the side of the building. The walls of the building are actually entirely disconnected from these pillars; there’s a 12 to 18 inch gap between the pillars and the side walls. This creates a really cool effect during the summer solstice where the sun will line up perfectly with the gap and light up the entirety of the wall. Additionally, the pillars are topped with reflecting lenses which capture the sun and transform the pillars into candles.
Moving on from the library, we continued down Central Avenue past the Phoenix Art Museum, which had a red dinosaur in a cage, and the Heard Museum, an anthropological museum. I wanted to go to a bookstore to look for a book I needed for class, so we decided to walk all the way down to the bookstore and see what interesting things we ran into on the way there.
The weather was incredibly nice, 70 degrees and sunny, but for some reason, there were barely any people walking the streets. Everything is so far apart that most people choose to drive, and the weather is usually too hot to make walking a fun activity, but today it was great.
Continuing down the street, we passed the public high school, and the Jesuit college prep school right next door. Eventually, we reached the bookstore, called “Changing Hands.” It was a charming independent bookstore with a cafe inside called “First Draft.” Although they didn’t have the book I was looking for, I still enjoyed looking around. It was getting close to lunchtime, so we took the Phoenix light rail back south towards our hosts’ home. Lunch consisted of turkey sandwiches, apples, and carrots, and after packing up our tails and our music, we drove over to the Musical Instrument Museum, which was the venue for our concert that night.
We walked past a wedding and a bat mitzvah as we entered the museum. Once inside, a staff member directed us toward the green room, where we left our belonging for safekeeping. We had about an hour to explore the museum, which I thought would be plenty of time.
It wasn’t. The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM, for those in the know) has an incredible variety of instruments from around the world, in addition to an interesting exhibit on mechanical musical objects, like the nickelodeon, and the instruments of some famous musicians. I rushed through the exhibits, trying to absorb as much as I could, but I know I barely saw a quarter of what was in there.
The Glee Club rehearsed from 4:30 to 6:00 in the music hall, then had a break to eat dinner and get changed into tails before the concert started.
The first concert of tour is an exciting experience. It’s usually the first time the group has performed on its own for a full-length concert, and it’s definitely the first time we had sung the repertoire in that particular order. It was really helpful to have a full house for our first concert, and the hall’s acoustic forced us to listen to each other better, and be more focused singers overall.
After the concert got out, our hosts picked us up and we returned to their house. I was still on a post-concert high, and rather hungry, so I had a late-night snack and dawdled on Facebook before falling asleep. So ended Day 2!
For Day 1, go here.