It’s been fun observing the boys on tour. At first they’re well-rested, excited to go on tour, ready to be away from home and explore the world ahead of them. On Day 16 of tour, they’re ready to be done. They miss their family. They miss their siblings. They miss their pets. One of them even said he misses his trampoline. I’m actually impressed with how well they’ve all been throughout tour. They’ve stayed absolutely positive for the most part, and they’ve gotten along with each other very well. Older boys help and hang out with the younger, and the younger ones find inspiration from their older peers. They have truly done “extraordinary”.
Yet they know they’re not done. Although they miss their homes and family, they are in great spirits as they reside in every moment with each other. Today during the bus ride they were doing their normal thing: card games, video games, reading, sleeping, chatting, etc. For lunch we stopped at McDonald’s, where they ate mountains of fries, concocted soft drink recipes, and then continued the trip to Petoskey, MI. Rest period lasted a couple hours until we got to our destination: Emmanuel Episcopal Church.
Before we got to Petoskey, I interviewed Tristan Suojanen, another graduate this year. Tristan’s 14 yrs old, and lives in Elk River. He’s been with the choir for many years; yet, he’s ready to move on. After he graduates he’s looking forward to hanging out with his friends more. This year he was officially named the choir’s prankster.
What has been your favorite moment as a Choirboy? “Getting to meet new friends and have fun with them.”
What was your favorite activity on tour? “Cedar Point”
What was your favorite Choirboy event this year? “Going to Staples with other boys, get to hang out with host families and tour partner.”
Have you ever sang Happy Birthday to yourself? “Yes.” What was it like the first time? “I was nervous. I was going over it in my head: ‘don’t screw up, you’re going to publicly humiliate yourself.’“
What is your favorite book? “Lord of the Rings series.”
What is something that worries you? “During the school year, I worry about getting good grades.”
Who inspires you? “Stewart, he strives to make everybody happy. I strive to do that too.”
Tell me something about this year that you never want to forget. “The joke I pulled on all the boys when I started passing out [Faure’s] Requiem.”
Thanks, Tristan, you make us proud.
We arrived fairly early, so the boys had time to play in the church’s recreation/dining room. There was tons for them to do: air Hockey, mini cars, and board games. While some took advantage of the church’s playful amenities, some boys played their own video games.
Emmanuel Episcopal was a very unique church. Originally it was home to one of Petoskey’s wealthy businessmen William Wirt Rice. At some point he donated his home to the church, and they added a stone church to it. The layout was like a maze, and the boys found it interesting to walk around. They oriented themselves fairly well by the time the concert started. They sang very well, and the community of Emmanuel Episcopal and Petoskey were thrilled to listen to the boys’ music.
We heard many positive comments about the boys at the dessert reception afterwards. The boys met their host families, and sat with them, eating chocolate ice cream and cookies. One group of boys had a math professor as a host. They were pretty proud to tell him how good they were at Quadrant formulas and Algebra. “I’m reallygood at Algebra”, one of the boys said. His host, questioning the boy’s mathematical knowledge, then asked him to define “Algebra”. The boy quickly came back with “I’m not good at defining things”. I’m sure the boys are learning much more than they know tonight at their host’s homes.
Tonight was their final concert before coming home. We’ll travel over the Mackinac Bridge tomorrow for our trip to Rothschild, WI. The boys will be in their last hotel for tour, and enjoy some time with Stewart and Camden in the pool. I’m not sure if our prefects will enjoy pool time, but we know the boys will. 😉