HGC East Asia Tour: Day 21

Throughout tour, we’ve lost a couple members at each stop, whether it was because they needed to visit family, get back to school work or real work, or had some other conflict. Day 21 marked our last concert with our accompanist and one of our Tenor 1s, who were going to Iceland for the UChoir tour the following morning.

I woke up early to eat breakfast and take a shower. Breakfast was an interesting combination of boiled meatballs, fish cake, and rice cake. There was also a side of beans, molasses and mustard, which I tried but quickly reject as not to my liking. When I came back to the dorm, I finished a blog post and did some more tour work before talking to my girlfriend. After our conversation, I went to the supermarket to pick up my lunch (sushi and onigiri), and then Daiso, to do some gift shopping.

img_3058I ate my sushi back at the dorm while my mom texted me updates about the Steelers v. Chiefs playoff game. I am consistently impressed with how good inexpensive supermarket sushi is in Japan. There were two other Glee Club guys in the common room, so after I finished my meal I learned how to play Go. Although it’s been in the news a lot for having been “solved” by artificial intelligence, Go is a game which is both aesthetically and strategically beautiful, and I’m glad I now know the basic rules.

At 1 PM, we met up to take the subway to Kioi Hall. The trains are pretty fast, and with my tails and backpack, I had a hard time remaining on steady footing. However, when I looked to my left, there was a woman subway surfing without much effort, even with a baby in one arm and a phone in the other hand. Both were looking at the screen with expressions of intense concentration.

img_3060This was a big concert for several reasons. 1) It was our accompanist’s last concert on this tour, 2) the concert was almost sold out, 3) we were performing by ourselves, not in conjunction with another group, and 4) Patrick Harlan, Glee Club alumni and Japanese comedian who goes by the stage name Pakkun, was going to be the master of ceremonies.

Therefore, we had a grinding afternoon of rehearsal as we went through “Ave Maria” and “Winter Afternoons” trying to make sure that we fixed all the small details. Finally, rehearsal was over and we ate sushi for dinner before the concert started.

Pakkun introduced us and warmed up the crowd with a few jokes, and then we were on stage. This concert was a bit more interactive than our other concerts; sometimes it seems like there’s a barrier that needs to be crossed between the audience and ourselves, but Pakkun’s repartee with the audience and with us prevented the barrier from ever taking shape. During intermission, he and one of our singers did a routine about the “Pen Pineapple Apple Pen” song that’s been popular in Japan recently. Our actual repertoire went pretty well too! There was a nice moment during “Bright Morning Stars” when I realized it contained the phrase “down in the valley,” which is the name of another one of our pieces.

After the concert, we Super Domine’d our accompanist to thank him for all the music he’s given us. He’s amazingly consistent from night to night as he brings lots of expression to the piano, and encourages all of us to sing our best. He’s a cool guy to hang out with as well. Afterward, Lite ran off to do an afterparty gig, and I stayed behind to help clean up the dressing rooms before getting back to Wakei Juku. We were leaving early for Tamagawa University the next morning, so I did some tour work, then jumped into bed.

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