Please Mr. Columbus Turn This Ship Around

Some of my fondest memories spent as a student at Bowling Green State University were spent as a member of “America’s Finest Singing Machine” the BGSU Men’s Chorus. To become a member was one of the most harrowing yet rewarding experiences I have ever had to undergo. Because it was so painful if I had to divulge the requirements on this blog I would have to do something drastic. The best part of the group was the Spring Break Tour in which the chorus travels to either the north Atlantic coast and eventually New York City itself or south to Florida. LOOOOOONG hours were spent on a Lakefront charter bus to drive to and from various schools and churches to perform not to mention the gracious host familes who provided a bed, shower, and food to 120 men and one female accompanist. Thank goodness for VCR (this was before the infancy of DVD) and euchre cards.

My second year (1996) as a member was the New York recruitment tour. I just hated it. The highlight of the tour was three days spent in the Big Apple. The first afternoon, after standing in line to get tickets for a show at the TKTS booth on Broadway, a bunch of us decided to make our way to the Ed Sullivan Theatre to see about stand-by tickets for the Letterman show. Believe it or not, there were none to be had. However, instead of taking the advice of the doorman and going across the street to the Winter Garden Theatre to watch a bunch of performers dressed as Cats, SOMEONE came up with the bright idea of starting to sing and entertain the crowd gathering around the building. At 5pm, the taping for the evening’s Letterman show started. At about 5.35 PM, a doorman came out and told the choir to come inside. Apparently, one of the audience members inside was either totally disgusted with us and wanted the police called or else we were awesome. Word traveled during the first two commercial breaks and finally, Dave gave in and said….”OK, bring on the choir.” Then, our 30 seconds of fame arrived as we sang the tag to our rendition of the BGSU alma mater. After our brief segment, Dave introduced us as the BGSU Men’s Chorus from Bowling Green, KENTUCKY? WOOLY SHEEP!!!

The next morning, an even larger contingent of the chorus ventured over to Rockefeller Center dressed in our penguin suits. After one of Al Roker’s weather forecasts, we sang our barbershop rendition of the National Anthem.

So, as you can clearly see, I had a dreadful time in New York City.

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