Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Word of Mouth

Choir, I wanted to share this email with you:


This is Cissy Johnson at Berry Middle School in Hoover. I got an email from my father today. He is a music educator and church musician in Morristown, Tennessee. I just wanted to share something one of his colleagues said to him:

"Kathy Bowen said that ACDA was great. She was particularly impressed with the UAB Choir. She said they were awesome."

Of course, those of us in B'ham know that. But, I think UAB Music is a well kept secret in some parts.


I'm always glad to go from unknown . . . to . . . awesome. Isn't that a wonderful note? I greatly appreciate her sending it my way.

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Proposal

Lauren called me from Atlanta tonight, right before she got on the plane for Chile.

She told me Rebekah Smith just got engaged. Congrats to Rebeka!

And thanks to Lauren, who, even in Chile, finds a way to help me with life.

Don't miss this.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Holly Sawardecker: Incredible Face

Always watch the director

Originally uploaded by philipco.
Looks like Patrick busted Martin with this pic. Moral of the story: Always Keep Your Eyes on This Director.

Camera Captures Essence of Carlee

Originally uploaded by philipco.

Blazing the Stage and Chris Carter

Patrick took some wonderful pictures of our performance at ACDA. This is one of my favorites.

Other ACDA news: a student at the University of Georgia sent me an email complimenting our performance, our faces while singing, and especially Chris Carter's. Here is her email--she gave me permission to share it with you:

Dr. Copeland,
I'm a member of the UGA Women's Glee Club, and was privileged to watch your performance at ACDA on Thursday morning. I just wanted to tell you, and your choir, how much we all enjoyed your performance! Your pieces were beautiful, the soloist in the last piece sang wonderfully, and the stage presence was amazing! I wanted to try and speak to your group back at the hotel, but we never crossed paths. I was especially impressed with one of your basses (I think it was a bass) in the middle of the third row, with short blonde hair- he has the best facial expressions I have seen in a college group! The entire performance, he had a huge smile on his face and just made the music that much more enjoyable! A few of the other girls and I agreed, it felt like he was singing to us, like there was no one else in the hall! I just wanted to tell you how impressed I was with your performance, and I'm sorry that an "exchange concert" was unable to be arranged. Once again, it was a pleasure hearing your choir perform and I hope to hear you again!

Celia Jenkins

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Lauren Loves Gospel Singing

And we love Lauren. And we'll miss her.

A portion of her review of the trip here from her blog:

It was a wonderful 10 hour bus ride up and 10 more wonderful hours back - a ride which included everything from naps and movies, to religious discussions and truth or dare. oh yeah and who can forget that lovely southern gospel blasting from the front with added bass slides which got pretty mundane after hearing them for the umpteenth time.
Lauren travels to Chile on Monday. We will miss her incredible voice in choir--but we'll miss her wonderful spirit more. Bon voyage, girl, and be safe.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Charleston, WV Weather

Here's the forecast.

Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 33. Calm wind.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high around 52. Calm wind becoming west between 15 and 18 mph. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph.

Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 29. West wind between 9 and 13 mph.

Friday: Partly cloudy, with a high near 47.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Isn't that a great pose from Claire?

Sunday, February 19, 2006 (8)
Originally uploaded by philipco.
Birth order again.

Love that look from Claire. And Caroline looks a little devilish. Catherine? Sleepy.
A larger size here.

It's been awhile

Sunday, February 19, 2006
Originally uploaded by philipco.
It's been awhile since I've shared pictures of the triplets. And I love sharing these very special girls. They are in birth order here: Catherine, Caroline, Claire.

Here's a larger size.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Chili's Menu--for a little over $10

Chili’s Special Menu for Philip Copeland Group

There are two options for eating on Wednesday evening of the trip. The first choice is from the menu listed below. Choosing one of the sandwiches, chips, and a drink from the below choices will cost 10.11 (tip is on your own).

If you want something else, you can order off the regular menu and I'll call it in. Here is the menu with prices (pdf file).

Look it over and make a decision. We'll take the orders in class on Tuesday.

Bacon Cheeseburger
BBQ Ranch Burger
Chipotle Blue Cheeseburger
Cajun Chicken Sandwich
Grill Chicken Sandwich
Chili’s Cheesesteak Sandwich

Diet Coke
Dr. Pepper
Tea (Sweet & Unsweet)

Each sandwich comes w/ fries for $6.99
Beverage 2.09
Chips .46 ($2.29/5)
Tax: .57

Total: $10.11 per guest

Itinerary for ACDA Trip

Link to pdf of Itinerary.

Wednesday, February 22

Driver: Barry Yarborough (probably)

4:30 a.m. Bus Arrives
5:00 a.m. Bus leaves (Travel time 4: 00 hours)
10:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) Lunch: Knoxville
11:00 a.m. Depart Knoxville (travel time 5:00 hours)
4:00 p.m. Arrive Charleston, West Virginia
4:30 p.m. Chili's
Charleston S-101 Charleston Town Ctr.
Charleston, WV 25389
Phone: 304-346-7275
5:30 p.m. Arrive Clay Center
6:00 p.m. Dress Rehearsal
6:30 p.m. Depart Clay Center, Travel to Hotel
7:00 p.m. Arrive at
Holiday Inn-Charleston House

600 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25301

10:00 p.m. In rooms, lights out at 10:30

Thursday, February 23

7:00 Wake up calls (section leaders will confirm)
8:30 Travel to Clay Center-Upon arrival, to holding room
9:30 Warm-up room (20-25 minutes)
11:00 Choir will return to the hotel, no official plans for the rest of the day.

4:30 Opportunity to hear other choirs perform @ Clay Center:
Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Choir
Florida State University Singers
12:00 midnight (room check)

Friday, February 24
8:30 Opportunity to hear other choirs perform @ Clay Center:
Pebblebrook High School Performing Arts Chamber Choir
University of Mississippi Concert Singers
East Carolina University Chamber Singers
Winthrop University Jazz Voices
5:00 p.m. Meal in Knoxville, TN
10:00 p.m. Arrive in Birmingham

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Empire Strikes Back? Or Revenge of the Nerds?

You decide.

My favorite:

5. Any comments on our flags artistry will not be tolerated. It was done by a Bassian child because, unlike Baritonians and Sopranians, we like children.

Upate: Nick creates Fatherland.

Quarter = 69?

Originally uploaded by philipco.
The composer marks it at 69 beats per minute. Do you agree? Check your perfect tempo for the piece here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Clay's Influence Felt Across the World

Clay's influential creation of Baritonia is reverberating across the choir world. How do I know? Because I've sung baritone before.

Nick and MBV have given us a taste of their on creativity . . . Nick with the flag to the left and a rather small list of why it's great to be a tenor. Nick's best contribution? The homophobic name of the country: United Straights of Tenor.

MBV has not provided a flag (yet) but gives a wonderful response to Clay with her "reasons why sopranos are better." My favorite? The one about Sigmund Freud (a baritone) . . . but I won't quote that here in the interest of good taste . . . but it is very funny.

My other favorites in a list full of creative jabs:

Sopranos can resurrect the dead. They choose not to, however, because the dead sound like baritones after they've been in the ground for a while. The world is fortunate that Sopranos are also merciful.

When we get tired of singing the melody, we sing the descant.

Sopranos can impregnate men with their voices. The baritones still think they've just been developing beer bellies.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Learning from Last Night


Great job at the concert. I'm sure there is much to learn from last night's concert but I haven't put my mind to it yet.

Overall, I was quite pleased with the performance. Great energy, great concentration. I don't think that it was perfect and I believe we can improve on much, but I feel good about where we are right now.

There were several area choral directors in attendance: Megan Wicks (Vestavia HS director), Robert Wright (Univ. Montevallo), Terry Johnson (Vestavia Baptist), Jim Dorroh (St. Luke's Episcopal), Patricia Corbin (Jacksonville St.) and I'm sure a few others that I can't remember. It was an important concert and you did well.

I was interested to find this blog from a Samford student this morning upon awakening. Gotta love tools like Technorati. Interesting comments, and see my response.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Directions to Mountain Brook Baptist

Remember, park at the Jr. High.

From Red Mountain Expressway (Highway 280 East)

Exit at the Zoo Exit.
At the second traffic light (Montevallo Road), turn left.
Continue straight. The church is on the right at the corner of Montevallo Road and Overbrook Road.

From I-20 East/Eastwood Mall Area

Exit at the Montevallo Road Exit.
Turn right onto Montevallo Road and continue several miles past several shopping areas.
Continue to the traffice light at Overbrook Road.
The church is on the left at the corner of Montevallo Road and Overbrook Road.

From Brookwood Mall/Lakeshore Drive

Travel under Highway 280 on Lakeshore Drive.
Continue approximately one mile to the traffic light at the Overbrook Road intersection. Turn left onto Overbrook Road.
The church is approximately one half mile on the left.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Greatest. Post. Ever.

Congrats to Clay and
his list of why it's awesome to be a baritone.
It has to be one of the greatest choir posts ever. My favorite:

3. As a baritone, I can raise and lower my cholesterol at will. Why would I want to raise my cholesterol? So I can lower it.

In other news, a certain soprano likes quasi-semi-beards.


Upate: Somehow, Baritonia acquired a national flag. I was obligated to feature it in the post, for I have sung baritone in the past and tasted its glory. (thanks to james for the error notification. it's is now its. I'm sorry that it cost him a letter grade.)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Special Visitor Tomorrow

We have a special guest tomorrow, Dr. Gregory Fuller from the University of Southern Mississippi.

He asked to visit and talk to our students about the graduate programs at USM.

I met him when I was still in Mississippi and he is one of the nicest and funniest guys I've ever known in this profession. I don't laugh out loud very much but this guy had me doubled over one day--I don't even remember why.

Anyway, he's got a great choir that sang at last year's National ACDA convention. Please give him all the respect you give me.

On second thought, give him more.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A student in need

Two things to help a student in need:

1. This

2. This

Hey, I'm a compassionate choir guy.

New Eric Whitacre CD


Just received this promotional email from Eric Whitacre about a new album of his choral music. Longtime readers of this blog will remember earlier discussions of Whitacre's music as well as the time he personally responded to us:

Here is more about Lux.
Here is a collection of student thoughts about Whitacre's "Lux"
Here is the message from the composer.

Here is his promotional email:

Dear friends:

It is with great excitement that I write to you.

I want to let you know about a new CD of my choral music. It contains fourteen of my works for a cappella chorus, beautifully performed by the English choir Polyphony. They are guided by world-renowned conductor Stephen Layton, and he brings to my music an extraordinary sense of depth, musicality, and freshness. I feel as if I am hearing several of the pieces again for the first time.

The CD will be released on February 14th but is available now for pre-order at Amazon.com. I believe that we have a very good chance of having a respectable debut on the Billboard Classical chart - so please, tell your friends, family, classmates, neighbors, etc. I can't think of a better way to wake the classical world to the wonders of a cappella choral music than to make a splashy debut on the charts.

As always, my deepest and most sincere thanks for your continued support.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

"Like Church Organs-Massive Sound-Perfect in Pitch"


You'll be interested to read this article by Alfred Adler, who attended the Tours competition last May. Some very nice things said about us!


Tours, in France: a nice, quite and provincial town in the vicinity of the famous castles along the river Loire. Every year between May and June, The Florilège Vocal, an international amateur choir contest is being held during five stressful days. Suddenly, several thousands of singers and listeners change Tours completely into a sizzling place where in restaurants, cafés or just in the street your hear people discuss in English, German, Spanish, several Scandinavian languages, Russian, Turkish and conversation in different Baltic tongues.

This 34th. Festival and competition is again the proof that only the best choirs and ensembles in the world compete here after a severe selection and the twelve remaining ensembles (mixed choirs, female or male choirs) perform in the old theatre in the centre of town in front of an international jury (from Hungary, USA, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Norway and Germany)

The Florilège Vocal of Tours has links with other European Festivals, such as in Gorizia and Arezzo (Italy), Debrecen (Hungary), Tolosa (Spain) and Varna (Bulgaria).

Every other year the winners of the different Festivals stride for the ‘Grand Prix Europeen’, which is like a world championship for Vocal Art to be held in one of the named countries.

Music lovers have had terrific pleasure in listening to the mixed choir of The University of Utah Singers based in Salt Lake City, directed by their brilliant conductor Dr. Brady Allred in a breath taking neck to neck race against the mixed chorus of The University of Alabama Concert Choir, directed by the gifted Philip Copeland.

(Hmm . . . I'd have preferred to be the brilliant one . . . I guess he gets to be brilliant since his choir won the competition)

Each ensemble counted approximately 35 choristers. Both of them proposing rather contemporary lovely written 20th century music. These two choirs sounded like church organs, massive sound, perfect in pitch, strong rhythms, well trained voices and one could wonder whether there are still differences between the professional and the amateur world as the gap between them narrows more and more.

(Now, that is an excellent compliment, wouldn't you agree? Massive sound! Perfect pitch! Hardly a difference between professional and amateur!)

Apart from Grieg and Poulenc (much to the joy of the French listeners), Salt Lake City also did a special program in Renaissance music, and we were astonished to feel their difference in approach and specific Renaissance style, voicing with perfect pianissimi for that relative huge mass of singers.

(I have the feeling that participation in the Renaissance part of the competition would have helped our chances overall. I'm making note of that for the next competition.)

The University of Alabama Concert Choir vocalized a romantic Schubert, a religious deeply believed Schütz (16th century) and a refined Mendelssohn. It seemed rather manifest that aside from the high concentration of the singers in front of conductor Philip Copeland, they showed genuine singing pleasure and plain-spoken contact with the audience

(An isolation of our German works--romantic, religiously believed, and refined. How wonderful to be described that way.)


A serious competitor for the Americans was the male German choir of Regensburg, the Renner Ensemble, who, in their category, got the well earned first prize. Sixteen male singers with warm rock solid voices, very well under control of their chief conductor Jörg Genslein, a musician trained as a singer and choir director. Their sound is absolutely incomparable with the other groups and nearing perfection. German tradition in church is singing and also besides church, there is lots of profane singing done which is in culture and the history of the German people.

The programme sung in Tours was very varied: Gabrieli (16th Century), Richard Strauss (19/20th Century), Schubert, Poulenc, and some contemporary composers, amongst others Ligeti. As a vocal ensemble they were chosen by the public to also earn the so called ‘prix du public’.

Nevertheless, the two other German choirs did also a very good job: the Kammerchor Kurfürst-Friedrich from Heidelberg directed by Werner Glöggler, and the Deutsche Jugendkammerchor of Landsberg, directed by the energetic Karl Zepnik.

They got no prizes, but both their musical level was that high, that we can’t call them losers, but there was simply no room for more choirs at the very top level.

The performance of the Chamber Choir of the University of Americas in Puebla, Mexico, directed by Gisela Crespo was a shocking one. Apart from the fact that this small vocal ensemble (mixed voices) had the most beautiful female singers, the sound was very surprising. A perfect pitch, very homogenised, a delightful sound, smiling choristers, and a direct contact with the public. All of the members are students at the Universidad de las Américas. Their special Renaissance programme of de Lassus and de Victoria was superb and apart from that, the contemporary latin American music occupied an important place in the repertoire. It is no wonder that jury and public unanimously decerned them the 2nd prize in the mixed vocal section, as well as the prize of the University François Rabelais. Much honour to their beloved leader and choir director Gisela Crespo who worked very hard to get these results in fou years time, as the choir was founded in 2001.

Another unexpected surprise was the presence of Ankara, Turkey. The ‘Ankapella’, mixed vocal ensemble under the direction of Mrs. Ahter Destan getting away with the 1st prize in the category mixed vocal groups.

A wide repertoire, ranging from 16th. Century to contemporary Russian music, sung by students of the Ankara University, with a bright, clear and direct sound production, musically very enjoyable, fresh singing with enjoyment and homogeneity, perfect pitch, and very rhythmical. Ahter Destan did a remarkable job with these young people. The public loved them even more because they improvised at the end of the competition a song together with the Mexicans of the University of Americas and the two choirs mixed together. That ‘cocktail’ was a very emotive one, lots of acclaim of the public and proving that friendship can be created through the universal stream of Music.

The Moldavian Choir of Chisinau named ‘Renaissance’, a sheer female group, got the 2nd. prize in the category Equal Voices, directed by Oxana Filip. A sound group of students all of them being future choir conductors and students of the Moldavian State University of Arts. The idea behind this group is that choir conductors will benefit –on long or short term- of their activity as choir singers and in this practical way will know exactly what difficulties there may be with choirs they will lead in the future. A sympathetic group of well singing young professionals which was respected by the jury, granting them this prize.

Present at the competition two British groups: The Oxford Pro Musica singers directed by the very refined Michael Smedley with his mixed ensemble of good and naturally singing musicians. There again, the result of a singing history from early age starting at nursery school until university ! Lots of singing during liturgical services in church. They have a typical British sound, well trained and relaxed singers of mixed ages (they run from young adults to middle age choristers) lovely presentation, a group with a lot of experience and now several cd’s recorded by them of Tavener, Chilcott, Rutter and other contemporary composers. No prize for them, but the public would have missed a lot not having heard this very enjoyable style of chorus.

Their London colleagues, ‘The Cavendish singers’ directed by the introverted and sober directing Manvinder Rattan, produced a different, less cosy but a more direct and contemporary sound which matched well with the actual 2Oth century music such as Arvo Pärt, Peter Warlock and Finzi. Really music for the connoisseurs, well sung, but not strong enough to match the American and German giants. No prize for them either but it would have been a pity not to have heard this particular ensemble.

The Belgium female choir of Zele, directed by Philip Haentjens, did not match the very high level of the Tours Florilège Vocal. It could be named a choir of subsistence, sympathetic choristers (lovely blond girls), an interesting programme of music by Kodaly, Schubert, Palestrina and an original fluent written composition by their choirmaster Mr. Haentjens. It did not work out as they hoped for. The experience of this competition, as they told me later, was a very positive one, they learned a lot when listening to the other participants.

The female choir of Vilnius (Lithuania) directed by Mrs. Androné Steponaviciute was not qualified either. They had a great original programme with contemporary Lithuanian music as well as a superbly sung Ave Maria composed by Brahms.

Well trained voices originating also from a country where singing is a national sport, like in the two other Baltic states. The Altos have a great impact on the choir, the sopranos had a little thin sound. We noticed also with this choir participants of different ages. From young girls to singers reaching 40+ which creates a lesser homogeneity. A very interesting choir from the point of view that their style is much different from what we hear in many western European countries. The Renaissance programme of Costeley, de Victoria and last but not least the Tik-Tak of de Lassus was very stylish indeed and sung with humour.

Sunday night, May 15th. The big feast ended in restaurants and on café terraces the mixture of singers clotted together, brotherly and sisterly, drinking their glass of wine or a cool beer. Everybody mixed and language barriers were not anymore, the smile and the happiness reigned even for them being a little disappointed. If music be the food of love……. sing on and on……..

Next year, dear reader, and music lover, when you are about to visit the famous chateaux of the Loire in May or June, ask the local Tourist Office about the dates of the Florilège Vocal.

Concerts are also at night, so you won’t have to miss the visits to the great and unique chateaux or the vineyards.

Upcoming Concert Singer Reunion

Originally uploaded by philipco.
Some of my students may be interested in attending this concert. Leigh and I will be traveling over for the reunion.

Weston Noble: An Experience Based in Love

Check out this trailer. I'll be purchasing this DVD.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Remembering Joe, Daniel, Natalie, and Holly

Dr. Mathes pointed me to this today:

In Memphis' newspaper, The Commercial Appeal (registration required)

Opera brought them together, and to Memphis

By Jody Callahan
January 28, 2006

Mark Hensley took a quick look at the students lounging in his office and summed them up in two sentences:

"Don't let the calm exteriors fool you," the University of Memphis instructor said. "There's a little ax murderer in each of them."

By a combination of luck and coincidence, five opera performers who attended undergraduate or graduate school in Alabama all wound up pursuing advanced degrees at the U of M.

The group of friends will perform at 7:30 tonight at the Opera Gala in the Harris Concert Hall in the U of M's music building.

It all started when Dan Brown and Joe McClellan met while taking show choir classes at Wallace State Community College in north Alabama.

From there, the pair moved on to the University of Alabama-Birmingham, again majoring in voice. That's when Nat Bergeron walked through their door.

Nat commuted an hour each day, so the prospect of sleeping on their "tiny couch" some nights was appealing. Mostly.

"That was one of the nastiest dorms I've ever seen," Nat said.

Joe: "We took the garbage out once a semester."

Next came Holly Bolton, a pal of Nat's roommate and a fellow voice major. She slowly started hanging around the trio.

"You can't get rid of her," Joe said.

"I'm like a tick on a rhino," Holly said.

"She fell instantly in love with me," said Dan Brown, an opera baritone who bellows his love for classic rockers Journey and Boston. "There was a time when Holly and I didn't get along. It was unrequited love."

Holly: "It was the mullet."

From there, Dan, Joe and Nat all went to the University of Alabama to get master's degrees in voice, while Holly stayed behind to finish at UAB.

That's when Kim Brown joined the group, but not without a little drama. See, when Kim met Dan, she was seeing someone. Three months later, Dan and Kim were dating. On Aug. 7, 2004, they married.

While they were all finishing up at Alabama and planning their futures, Holly decided she wanted to go to Yale. Dan and Kim were itching to go to Michigan. Joe and Nat really liked the offerings at the U of M's Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music.

It looked like the gang was breaking up, spreading all across the country. "We kind of decided we didn't want to go to school together," Nat said.

Plans changed. Michigan was too expensive for Dan and Kim. Holly didn't get into Yale, so she came to Memphis. Joe and Nat joined her. Suddenly, the gang's all here.

And now, they're inseparable. They all live a couple of minutes apart in Cordova. They eat together, perform together, party together (when there's time for it). They've even added another member to their group, Maine transplant and fellow voice major Jenny Robinson.

"We think about it now," Kim said, "and we ended up in the right place."

Thursday, February 02, 2006

NY Flight Info

Here is the flight information for UAB and South Highland Presbyterian Church.

Flight Schedule #1
South Highland: 13 seats reserved
UAB: 18 seats reserved
Continental 2354 Leave Birmingham 3:30 p.m., Arrive Newark 7:07 p.m.

Flight Schedule #2:
UAB: 22 seats reserved
Continental 2625 Birmingham (11:50 a.m departure) to Houston (arrive Houston 1:39 p.m.)
Continental 62 to Newark, arrive 7:01 p.m.

I am confirming flight information with the company today.

Finding solutions

In the process of responding to Keith and Chris' insightful comments, I realized I was creating another post, so I brought it to the forefront of the blog:

Very nice words, Keith and Chris (aka Raul). Thanks for the compliment.

And I think you are right--this song is teaching us a lesson that we didn't expect to learn.

I think that yesterdays group discussion actually brought a different aspect of the perfect solution to the problem. Our solution to bringing life to this work of art is a combination of:

1. bringing a refreshed emotion to the work individually
2. pushing and pulling more--pushing some tempos, pulling some back
3. remembering that those hearing it are hearing it for the first time
4. finding new and softer dynamics
5. avoiding stilted-straight singing without musicality or emotion

There were other great things that were said and all were good.

You and I are in the process of interacting with a piece of music (i.e. art)--we are struggling with it and listening to what it has to say. We are dealing with the fact that "true musical experience" and "absolute mediocrity" are likely outcomes when we sing the first note of this work.

Let us bring our best attention to this piece and not let it defeat us! Let us bring our deepest emotion to this work of art and bring it to life!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Ever in my life

Ever in my life have I sought thee with my songs.
It was they who led me from door to door,
and with them have I felt about me,
searching and touching my world.

It was my songs that taught me all the lessons I ever learnt;
they showed me secret paths,
they brought before my sight many a star
on the horizon of my heart.

They guided me all the day long
to the mysteries of the country of pleasure and pain,
and, at last, to what palace gate have the brought me
in the evening at the end of my journey?
Keith asks good questions. I’ll answer:

1. Will the bus be making rest stops along the way or are there facilities onboard?
Absolutely. Frequent rest stops. Toilet on board only for emergencies.

2. Will there be a meal stipends?
Yes. In process.

3. Where will we leave our cars on campus or should we make other arrangements?
Your decision. We leave early Wednesday and return late Friday.

4. How many pieces of luggage are allowed? The way I see it, I'll need a duffel for clothes, garments bag for the tuxedo (and a heavy coat), and a "carry on" for personal items and music.
Sounds great.

5. Who is rooming with who? I think I signed up for room #13. Also, will there be private showers and such in the rooms?
Let’s sign up for rooming again. There will always be showers. And commands to take them.

6. What time does the bus depart (return trip too) and where from?
Probably 5:30 a.m. or 5:00. I know. Horrible. It is a 9 hour trip. We have a rehearsal in the hall at 6.

7. Will there be an itinerary or is it "need to know"?
Wednesday: Drive all day. Practice
Thursday: Sing in morning. Free time.
Friday: Leave at noon. Drive all day.

8. Will there be complimentary Prozac and/or sedatives for those of us who are older and of the grumpy persuasion during long road trips? :-) HA HA! 1.

Instead of complimentary drugs, we’ll just implement the silence rule: Be quiet and respectful around anyone over age 25.

9. MBV rides up front. With me.