New York Trip Posts: We're Here / Three Hour Cruise / Report 1 / I'm Trapped / NBC Tour / In the Park / SoHo / Street Shopping / Report 2 / Waiting / The Clinic / At the Trump Tower / Big Green Lady / New York at Night / Report 3 / Day at the Museum / Grand Hall / Wicked / Report 4 / First Impressions of Carnegie Hall / At Last / We're Famous / Terrific Night in NY / Three Favorite Ladies / Guess the Photo / My Group
Yesterday was a busy, busy day for the kids in the orchestra. We started out with breakfast at Ellen's Starlight Diner on Broadway. It's a 50's style diner staffed by wait staff who are all superbly talented future Broadway stars. They sang various showtunes throughout our breakfast, often while serving, and they were very entertaining with tremendous voices and stage presence. If you're in town, have a meal there. You'll enjoy the food and the show.
At midday we bused over to the west side of midtown to a rehearsal studio conveniently located on the 5th floor of an old building with no elevator (there was a freight elevator for the big stuff, but most of us had to tromp up 10 flights of stairs). The kids spent an hour with a Broadway conductor who worked them through Rhapsody in Blue and some of Mars, from The Planets. It was a great experience for all of them to work with such a high profile New York music guy.
As soon as the buses arrived back again (after we stood in the hot sun for 20 minutes) we were bused over to Trump Tower where the orchestra performed in the huge glassed-in atrium. The acoustics were something akin to singing in your shower, but the kids adapted very well to the lengthy reverb. When the orchestra sound got big on Mars, the whole room resounded. The low brass never sounded better - it was pretty impressive. HolyCoast daughter was also featured on a piece that brought her front and center with her piccolo.
Upon completing the group's final number, the tough New York crowd cheered and called for an encore, and thanks to a little time in the schedule, we were able to give them a condensed version of Rhapsody in Blue.
After returning to the hotel my little group took a chance on a street corner hot dog (it was pretty good and so far it's staying where it belongs), and then we were off to the evening activity, a 3 hour dinner/dance cruise on the Hudson River. Our orchestra was part of five different Festival music groups on board, so the kids had a chance to meet some kids from North Carolina, and a few very shy boys from Singapore. Some of our girls tried to get the Singapore kids to join them on the dance floor, and you could see the boys really wanted to join them but were desperately shy. It was a funny scene to watch.
The cruise took us around the Southern end of Manhattan, under the three bridges (Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg), and then turned around and head out to the Statue of Liberty where we arrived just as the sky was turning a beautiful red as the sun set. There's a cellphone photo in another post, and once I get back I'll post some better shots of Lady Liberty.
Today I'm taking my little group on an excursion to the Brooklyn Bridge. The kids want to walk over to Brooklyn and eat at Grimaldi's, a famous pizza joint. After that we'll take the subway up to the Museum of Natural History (featured in the movie Night at the Museum, which came out last Christmas). The rest of the orchestra will be going on another bus trip, but my kids wanted to skip that so we'll have our own adventure. We'll also spend some time in Central Park.
Tonight's big activity will be a performance of Wicked at the Gershwin Theater on 50th Street. I saw the show in Orange County and have been told the Broadway version is significantly better. We'll see.
I'll check back in tomorrow and let you know how the day went.