About a year ago we received an announcement from the Mission Viejo High School music department that the orchestra would be traveling to New York in 2007 to perform at Carnegie Hall. My daughter would be going as a flute/piccolo player, and I decided that I just couldn't miss the opportunity to see her play on that famous stage, so I signed up as a chaperone. It's funny, but everyone I've told about this trip has had the same reaction. Carnegie Hall is such a revered place in music history, the universal reaction is "wow, how cool!".
So, without further ado - cue the band...
Actually, I'm leaving tomorrow. We meet at the school at 5:15 am and will fly out of LAX around 9:30.
[Frank Sinatra voice]
Start spreading the news,
I'm leaving today,
I want to be a part of it,
New York, New York...
[/Frank Sinatra voice]
Here's a rough itinerary of what we'll be doing in the big city:
Fri, June 15 - fly to New York, arriving at our hotel about 8:00 pm, and at 9:30 we're going to walk over to Rockefeller Center to get a view of the town from the Top of the Rock.Sounds like fun, doesn't it? There's one drawback, however. Thanks to my duties as a chaperone and my desire to shoot as much film and digital photos as I can, I can't lug a laptop back there with me. I'm going to try and blog some updates while I'm gone, but I'm going to have to rely on the hotel's business center for computer time, and I don't know if I'll be able to upload any photos (I might try sending some shots from my cellphone if nothing else).
Sat, June 16 - Six hour bus tour through parts of Manhattan (including Ground Zero) and a guided ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. On a warm summer night in July of 1976 I stood atop one of the World Trade Center buildings and looked out across the lights of the city. I'm wondering how I'll feel seeing that big hole in the ground.
Sun., June 17 - Tour of NBC Studios in the morning, and then a subway ride to Greenwich Village and Times Square for some local sightseeing in the afternoon and evening.
Mon., June 18 - Touring in the morning and an orchestra clinic with a local conductor in the early afternoon. The guest conductor has been the music director for a number of Broadway shows. In the evening we'll be taking a three hour dinner dance cruise on the Hudson River with the members of the other musical groups that will be performing at this year's festival.
Tue., June 19 - The orchestra will be performing at noon in the atrium of the Trump Tower as part of the festival. That evening we'll be heading to the Gershwin Theater to see "Wicked". I saw this show at the Orange County Performing Arts Center last year and I'm looking forward to seeing it on the actual Broadway stage.
Wed., June 20 - The big day. The morning will be fairly quiet since we don't want to wear the kids out before their performance. In the afternoon we'll be heading over to Carnegie Hall to hear some of the afternoon performances. We'll return to the hotel to change, and at 6pm we'll head back for our performance. The orchestra will take the stage at Carnegie Hall at 8pm EDT and will perform for 25 minutes. We probably won't return to the hotel until after 11pm.
Thu., June 21 - The day from hell. After getting back to the hotel late the night before, we're supposed to gather in the hotel lobby at 3:45 am to catch the buses back to JFK and the flight home. Why so early? This is also graduation day for the seniors (including my daughter), and we have to get home in time to get to the 6:30 pm ceremony. It's also my son's 16th birthday, but we'll have to celebrate that a day or so late.
But never fear, I won't let HolyCoast.com sit idle for a week. I've enlisted HolyCoast Dad to fill in with a post or two every day. This is his first shot at blogging and he's a little nervous, but he'll do just fine. I've told him I have a good crop of readers and they'll treat him well. Keep checking back for his posts and my updates and I can provide them.
Once I get back and make it through the graduation activities, I'll post a full report with photos. See you next time from New York. I figure if I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere.
UPDATE: With the trip now completed, you can work your way through the entire thing by following the links at the top of the post.