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On the final day of tour, the gang went to Tampa, Florida. A few of us checked out the aquarium and others went to Hooters. Some of us even got pictures with the ladies. Good old testosterone.

Anyways, we had our final concert that night. It was a moderate turnout, and we had an outstanding amount of Miami University alumni there. Almost ten people raised their hands when we scanned the crowd for Glee Club alums! Usually we get one or two. Now that’s impressive; there was even a girl in the audience who was singing along to each song. Looks like we have some official fans.

We finished the night with a trip to Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company, and Harry Fox made a toast to brotherhood and tradition. We even pretended it was Nathan Courtney’s birthday. He immediately played along, and the entire restaurant went wild chanting his nickname. For those who don’t know, his nickname is Meat Stick. 

“MEAT STICK MEAT STICK MEAT STICK” the crowd chanted while banging their hands on the table. What a sight to behold. 

We finished the night by running over a coconut with one of the buses. Bus two’s driver, Donna, was happy to oblige. A few people recorded the scene.

Well, I’m ending my transmissions. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these posts, and if you are a new guy who is trying to figure out whether or not to go on Winter Tour, take the plunge. I have a plane to catch.

Your brother in song, 

Andrew Kondik 

Day at the Museum

Day 10. We started the day with two early concerts at a high school. We had one group of boys and one group of girls. For each concert, we had a Q & A session, and the kids asked some great questions. For example, they asked questions about: the audition process, the acceptance rate, major options, and campus life. I hope that some of them decide to join our school. On the other hand, that would make for quite an expensive plane trip or a long ride for breaks!

Today, the group got cultured. We visited the Ringling museum, and the Glee Club went exploring while looking at some wonderful painting and checking out a few exhibits. One of the exhibits featured a samurai exhibit. The curator of the exhibit explained to me that all of the relics were brought less than a week ago. He explained to me that the samurai kept their swords with blades facing down in order to make quick slices at a second’s notice.

Another exhibit was a house that was created by James Rudolph; it was a tiny home created in the 1950’s and the house was surprisingly spacious for only 500 square feet. The walls were designed to be lifted up, and when this happened, the house opened up more than you could imagine. You could switch between having a cave and a fishbowl, the guide explained, by simply pulling a few ropes up.

That evening, the seniors went to World of Beers for what is traditionally called senior night. Everyone had their moment to roast and toast each of the seniors, and we laughed for hours. I may be a newcomer to this group, but even I could see that brotherhood has blossomed within the eight semesters these guys share. One more day.

I’d like to finish my post with an excerpt from Maxwell Shin. Max wrote an email to the group, and I’d like to share it with you:

Glee Club,

It's 10:47pm Thursday January 21 as I start to write these words on the way to senior night. I wanted to write this email earlier in the week but I felt that it wasn't the right time until tonight. Glee club has been an amazing journey for me and I am truly grateful I have gone on winter tour all my 4 years. I have met some amazing people and it is comforting to know that when I graduate I will have over 100 people I can proudly call my brothers. For new guys, I don't think you truly realize how amazing this group is. For those not here on tour, I sincerely hope you get a chance to go at least once. A few nights ago, club performed at a church and decided to leave the doors open to see if we could attract some passing by people. When the concert started we had about 5-7 people in the audience. By the time we finished the concert, we had at least 20 people in the audience. To think that such a tremendous group could have such an impact on people. Glee Club is something special in that we have a great power and a great responsibility. It is fascinating to see how this group can be so influential to someone for a small period of time. To be able to share such passion for even just a second and then potentially never see that person ever again. How awesome is that? To know that for someone you could easily change someone's life for the better simply singing to them for such a short amount of time. Knowing that, I want to leave you with this, do good. For those gramatically inclined, yes I do mean "do well" also but that is not what I mean when I say "Do Good". Of course, we can do well, because we are an amazing group. When I say Do Good what I mean is to make a difference in someone's life. Be that person who is there for someone who is having a difficult time. Do Good in the world, be a leader, take kindness into your life and make a difference even if it is just a small act and stand up for what you believe in even if all odds are against you. Everything is impossible until someone does it for the first time. All it has to do is work once. After that, it no longer becomes impossible. To think that for just one second you could make a huge impact on someone is such an amazing thought. So, do good. Make a difference. 

 Your Brother In Song,

 Maxwell Shin

Until tomorrow.

Calm Before the Storm

Day nine. Today, we had a variety of activities to complete: relax, relax, and relax. First, we went to the beach, and club decided to chill in the sun, get some rays, and listen to some music on the white, sandy beaches of Siesta Key. Some people played soccer, a few people walked to get some lunch. 

After the beach, we went to a new hotel. This hotel looked like a villa that was transformed into commercial real estate. It had an affluent feel to it, and the staff were extremely friendly. Someone on their staffed thanked me profusely for throwing a banana away. Jason Tran informed me this place was originally section eight, and it burned down half-way through the construction. It would be impossible to tell that without being informed, because this place looked magnificent. It’s the kind of hotel where you worry about your bill in the morning.

After a nice, complimentary dinner at Gecko’s Bar and Grill, we went back to the hotel to do whatever we wanted. Some of us played cards, and others lounged around the hot tub and pool. A few others hit the town and went on a random adventure.

We’re at a point in the tour where friendships have been forged, and people who never talked before are now laughing and acting like they’ve known each other for years. Never underestimate the power of a group trip. It can bring people from multiple disciplines together in a way that would never be possible without it.

The following day will be full of challenges. We have three concerts, and we’ll be on the road for hours. Yes, I said that correctly: THREE CONCERTS. That’s no laughing matter. Two are in polos and one is in our tuxedo apparel. Everyone better brace themselves.

Until tomorrow.

A Journey to Lake Placid

Day eight. Today started out at a very nice shopping plaza in Naples, Florida. To give you an example of how much money there is, Dennis Dudley told me a story of how they group met Lady Gaga there six years ago. The floors were encased in marble, and there were enough fountains to open a water park. The shops were all high-end, and vineyard vines shone prominently at one section of the plaza.

A few people went on an adventure while others walked around the plaza. A group of four told me they went to one of the nicest hotels they’ve ever laid eyes upon that was just a few minutes away; they went to the highest floor of the building and stared down at the city. They successfully infiltrated a different hotel and even had a few laughs in the process.

After a nice lunch and some slow walking, the group went back on the bus to our next location: Lake Placid, Florida. This town has a suburb feel to it, and the streets were empty. It kind of looked like a ghost town with nice buildings. 

Once inside the renovated church, I was amazed at how wonderful the interior looked. Everything was new, and dark blue colors met brown, leather couches. The gym held numerous chairs, and it smelled like it had just received a nice set of fresh paint. I would estimate six hundred people showed up to our concert, so scratch that earlier comment about this place being a ghost town!

We all went to our respective home-stays, and we made some memories with these nice people in their small community. I would like to wish the best to Monty, my host, and I hope he enjoyed his game of tennis today.

Until tomorrow.

It's Beach Thirty

Day Seven. We started the day in Naples, Florida on a street that looked like it housed the affluent. If I were to shoot a movie about a tropical detective, this would be the street I would film on. There was a parade for Martin Luther King Jr. today, and it was complete with a few marching bands. Chris Sheehan astutely noticed that one of the bands was out of step.

More importantly, today was beach day! Sand got everywhere. There was an ultimate frisbee game, and Dr. Jones was getting pumped playing in the soccer tournament. While I’m not really sure I watched enough to narrate the tournament, I want everyone to know that Dr. Jones made a hat trick during the game. Even I know that’s some good sports-ball. In case a post does not get written, a special shoutout to Jake Sheppard (two goals), Ryan Anderson (one goal), Mitch Dorner (one goal), Noah Hupp (one goal), Steve Korwin (one goal), Kyle Wagoner (one goal), Cameron Warland (one goal), and Dr. Jones (either three or four goals).

We finished the day with a concert at a church (what a surprise). There was a monstrous organ that encompassed the altar, and someone who was associated with the church gave us a quick tour of it. We had a packed house, and everything went well. There was an incident with someone throwing a coin into the audience, but no harm was done. There were a few miami alumni there, and someone who was in the Glee Club many years ago got on stage and sang the fight song with us. Very cool.

The best part was Erika and Milan came back for another show tonight! They enjoyed it as much as the last; as an added bonus, Milan is an orchestra director in Germany, and we’ve made arrangements to sing there with his help the following summer. Dennis Dudley arranged it after they had a quick conversation. Dennis told me he is from the Zurich area. What a great coincidence. 

Until tomorrow.

 

Hodge is in the Building

Day Six. Today, we visited the homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford in Ft. Myers. The land was two neighboring estates, and Edison’s estate was bigger. Ford was only there two weeks out of the year. Edison lived there the entire year, so it made sense.

Our tour guide was a friendly senior who made jokes the entire tour. As I yawned, he came over and tapped me on the shoulder.

“Hey, wake up!” the tour guide said.

“I’m trying” I said with a grin.

Each building contained original furniture from the early twentieth century, and they were kept as authentic as possible. I was astounded at how modern it looked in comparison to what I would expect. For example, some of the wicker chairs looked like I could have found them at a garage sale today. Also, the light switches were bizarre. They were iron rods that one would either push up or down. They were clearly prototypes when they were created all those years ago.

As we finished the tour, a woman walked up to the group.

“Are you singers? You must sing something!” she pleaded.

We all looked around, shrugged, and sang Brothers, Sing on! She was impressed with our performance, and she gave us some words of approval.

“I run this place, and this is the kind of thing that makes working here worthwhile” she declared with a look of excitement on her face.

Next, we continue on to Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church for a very special concert. President Hodge and his wife were in attendance. They sat in the front row, and everyone wanted to make a good impression.

President Hodge sat with a majestic look upon his face in one of the pews closer to the altar. His wife also looked on the group with eloquence, and they both had wide smiles as we sang our concert set. By the time the concert was over, everyone was clapping vigorously. We put on an excellent show.

After the concert, I shook as many hands as possible; I ended up meeting a Swiss couple that had some very kind words.

“I just wanted to say how wonderful I thought this concert was. I loved the variety of pieces you guys played.” Milan said.

“We really enjoyed the drinking songs, because we speak German!” Erika mentioned.

After our short conversation, I met with the man of the hour: President Hodge. I had a quick question for him. I felt it would be best to keep an impromptu interview short.

“Hello President Hodge! It’s great to meet you. I’m Andrew Kondik, and I’m doing daily blog posts for the Glee Club. I have a quick question for you. What’s your favorite part about the glee club?” I said with curiosity.

They looked at each other for a second. They pondered, and then they gave me an answer with certainty.

“I love the joy, energy, tradition, brotherhood, and the music of course.” President Hodge proclaimed. We all had a chuckle.

“When David and I came to this school, we had a moment where we saw someone walking down the street with a tuxedo hanging over their shoulder, and we knew that this group was special ever since.” Mrs. Hodge explained. “Everyone of you is part of Miami history. This group is for life”

Wise words from some great people. Later on, we ate dinner at the Beer Garden, and the group parted ways to go to their individual home-stays. I felt confident knowing the the Glee Club did everything in their power to make today an awesome day for all involved.

My home-stay was with Mike and Sue Dewine, and they both used to teach in higher education before they retired. They gave me some great advice on tackling graduate school, and we had a blast spending time with each other. I stayed with Nick Shirley, and we all stayed up late into the night swapping stories and laughing. 

Until tomorrow.

Gator Time

Day five. Today was a free day, but it didn’t mean the Glee Club had nothing to do. We went to an alligator farm. There was a pungent smell from the livestock, and wooden fences concealed the area. We entered the farm, and we went to a show that was put on by a rough-looking man who had some scars from his gator battles.

The first show he put on for us, by himself mind you, was snake related. He gave us some general information about the difference between snakes; he also told us the difference between poison and venom. Poison has to be ingested and venom has to come in contact with your blood. There is no such thing as a poisonous snake. After the show, we all took pictures holding some harmless snakes.

We then went on an airboat ride. Our driver was actually quite comical, and he was making jokes about people losing limbs to the alligators throughout the ride. The noise was so loud from the fan that we were required to wear ear protection. Most of us got wet, and the driver did some spins to spice things up. I was surprised at how brown the water would become when he would spin the boat; it was a nice aqua color, and then out of nowhere, it would turn this mud-ridden hue only to return to its natural state seconds later.

Around noon, there was an alligator feeding. A man who looked surprisingly like Nathan Callender, I mean the resemblance was uncanny, fed all of the alligators with pieces of raw meat. They seemed to be mostly uninterested in the scraps, and they would waddle nonchalantly as he threw some small pieces. At the end of the feeding, he pulled out a huge piece of meat. The alligators all went into action trying to grab this jackpot. They were literally crawling over each other to get to this large hunk of protein. Eventually, one of the alligators claimed the prize and darted as far away from the others as it could swallowing the food in a few gulps.

After the feeding, we went back to the battle-scarred man for a final show. This time, the show was crocodile based. This dude was crazy. He opened the jaw of an alligator with his neck, and he held his arms out as if he were mimicking a crucifixion. He would then jolt his head back as we all watched in delightful horror as the alligator’s mouth would snap together at lightning speed while the man would escape unharmed. We then all took turns taking pictures holding baby alligators with their mouths taped shut.

After the alligator farm, we went back to the hotel. Most of us went downtown to the River District in Fort Myers. A large group of us ate pizza while watching a classic rock tribute band. Maxwell Shin taught us a cool trick with some Christmas lights that were hanging above a bar. When someone would buzz their lips together while looking at the lights, the lights would appear to dance in a criss-crossing fashion. Pretty much everyone still has moments where they are blown away by how amazing this trip has been so far. Well, that’s it for today.

Until tomorrow.

 

Andrew Kondik, copywriter

A Storm's a Brewin'

Day four. This day was a very rainy day. I don’t say that lightly. It was pouring. I ate breakfast with Dennis Dudley, and we had a conversation about the subjunctive in German and Spanish. Exciting, I know.

“Okay guys, we have another gag gift.” Casey Wood said from the bus intercom.

“GAG….GIFT…GAG…GIFT…GAG…GIFT” Everyone chanted with hints of groupthink.

Kevin Krause got a pink recorder from the dollar store. We all cheered. Ryan told him if he snores again, he will shove it somewhere not very pretty. Erich Moenich burps vigorously.

“Mmm tastes like a doctor’s office.” he pondered.

“And the crowd goes mild!” Evan Jones replies wittingly.

We arrive at a Miami mall…. area. I don’t really know how to describe it. There were a variety of inside shops passing out free samples. As we walked through the shopping plaza, we came to a marina. White boats bobbed back and forth across the gently moving water. The sky was completely gray, and a storm appeared to be brewing. 

“Should we go to the Hard Rock Cafe?” Someone said.

“I’d get on that boat.” David Black jokes.

As we’re leaving the restaurant, we walk along the coast. Out of nowhere, rain started pouring. We ran, ironically enough, to a running-shoes store, and we ended up back in the free sample area. 

“It’s like mother nature is on her period.” Ryan Fry commented.

Brandon Klein and I took advantage and walked around looking for free samples. We left with a handful of toothpicks and no shame. We then all ended up back on the bus.

“We got a little wet.” I said to Tony the bus driver. He laughed roaringly.

“THREE WORD CHANTS. THREE WORD CHANTS. THREE WORD CHANTS” Everyone screamed. The groupthink was growing. 

Next, we did a concert at Miami Beach Community Church. This was a different type of crowd; we left the doors open and people just wandered in from the streets. Overall, about sixty people found their way into the venue over the entire show. People were really digging it, and the weather was perfect. It was the type of weather that is the stuff of paradise. Was it Winter? I couldn’t tell.

Everyone sang songs from the previous year (not including the new guys) after the show in the empty church hall. Their voices filled every inch of the church, and the sound bounced off the walls with a harmonic grace unrivaled at other events. It was like listening to a soundtrack. Those people who ended up just walking by were lucky souls.

After the show, Ryan Anderson was selling coffee and mugs for the Glee Club, and a man from the audience came up to him.

“I’m from the Netherlands on vacation, and I heard you guys singing from the street. I had to come inside and sit down because I thought your singing was so beautiful. If i’m anywhere where you guys are singing, I’ll be sure to see you guys again.”

He stayed for half of the concert and came in during Creator Alme Siderum. He was moved to the core from our music. Leave it to the Glee Club to inspire.

Until tomorrow.

 

Andrew Kondik, copywriter

Music and Mickey

It’s day three. We wake up in our hotel rooms. Everyone is shuffling to get down to the breakfast hall.  People are slowly adjusting to life on tour.

During breakfast, I had an interesting conversation with David Black, Connor McGinnis, and Chase Engel. We ended up talking about artificial intelligence and what it actually meant to be human. If a machine has the capacity to experience emotions and contain more information than an organic life-form, does it make human life obsolete? It was way too early for such a deep conversation. I think the conversation started over a movie called Ex Machina.

We played our next concert at St. James Cathedral School. The kids loved all of the music, and they couldn’t stop laughing at the Cheezies performance. The Cheezies are an acapella group that consist of twelve members of the Glee Club. After that, we went out to the field and played soccer with the kids. Screams of joy were heard each time someone would score a goal.

Nathan Callender, the president, organized some of the kids together and had a small talent contest. The kids all took turns doing handstands, flips, and somersaults. He did a great job involving them, and they seemed to enjoy the experience.

Casey Wood was approached by a few of the school girls.

“Would you give us a piggyback ride?” An innocent girl asked.

Casey immediately obliged and brightened her day. Good feelings were in the air, and we then got back on the bus to move to our next location. 

Next, we went to Disney Springs. It was essentially the shopping plaza for Disney World. I walked around with a large group of people going from shop to shop checking out the merchandise. Some people went bowling and others went on a hot air balloon ride. I bought my girlfriend a Disney Keychain.

After the Disney shopping spree, we arrived at St. James Cathedral in Orlando. The cathedral was pristine. There were religious murals that covered the walls, and decadent marble sprawled across the floor. The acoustics were out of this world. I cannot put it in words; if I had to pick a word to describe the sound, I would call it angelic. Although the crowd was smaller than the other shows we had, people were moved to tears. If only we could sing here every day.

After the concert, we drove back to the hotel to get some rest. On bus one, we did what was called a ‘loddy-loddy.’ It consisted of singing a repetitive line over and over again with one person filling in some rhymes that are comical. After a few loddy-loddy rounds, people were going crazy with laughter on our bus. It was a great way to end the day.

Until tomorrow. 

Andrew Kondik, copywriter 

The Saga of the Missing Pants

This is my third winter tour with club. As I sit on the plane, I can't help but think how fast the time has gone. The nostalgia is setting in from all the fun memories of the past few tours, but I remind myself that there are more to come as we continue our journey to Florida. 

This tour has started like any other... A farewell concert at a nearby church in Kettering, Ohio. I could barely contain the excitement Tuesday night as we all broke from dinner and were sent off to change for our first concert. 

As a third year clubber, I've learned a few tricks on what to pack and how to keep luggage organized for a 12 day tour. I was very proud of myself... This year I packed my entire suitcase a few days early. I felt ahead of the game, fully embracing this tour and hoping I can keep the enthusiasm throughout our adventure. This attitude would abruptly change. 

Due to the portion of food I consumed at dinner before our farewell concert, I needed a few extra minutes to let my food digest before I fit into my tuxedo from my senior year of high school. Finally, after about 15 minutes, I was changing in the basement of the church. I unzipped my suitcase to find my neatly organized clothes for tour. I grabbed my tuxedo bag and began to dress up. To my surprise and to much discomfort, my tuxedo pants were nowhere to be found. 

"Okay, Jack, remain calm.", I muttered to myself. "They were here when you took them to the cleaners, they're here now."

I calmly took a few minutes to look for my pants in my suitcase. They just weren't there. My calm demeanor quickly changed to frustration and anxiety. I remember this happening to a few others in the past, and recall them finding a substitute pair of black pants. Whether they were slacks, corduroys, or even sweats, I was out of options at this point and just needed something to help me blend in up there. 

I simply didn't have anything that was black in the pants variety. I was in a bad spot. Now, the time was 6:20 and clubbers began lining up. By now, word has spread that Jack O'Brien, the Vice President of the Glee Club, forgot his pants (this is never good for an officer's image). I've got a reputation to uphold people! 

I finally went out to the lobby where I saw Nathan Callendar, the President, making sure everyone was dressed appropriately for the concert and lined up. 

He immediately noticed I was lacking pants and still found it necessary to remind me that I couldn't sing like that. 

"Yeah, Nathan, I know I'm not wearing pants. You've gotta help me out, man." 

Nathan told me that he would do his best to ask around while I made sure they weren't In a hidden nook and cranny in my bag.

The time was now 6:25, five minutes before our performance time. I was really sweating over this one, what am I to do all tour? 

Finally, Nathan comes in with a pair of black slacks. "Hey, I grabbed these from Maxwell Shin, they're the only black slacks I could find. They're a size 30."

Now, to anybody that knows me, I'm sure you're thinking "How the hell is Jack O'Brien going to fit into a size 30? The kids been a husky since before he could read." 

Well I have some news for you, this size 36 waist was going to do everything he could do to sing with the boys. There was no way I was missing our farewell concert for our Florida tour. Sitting out is no way to start this journey.

I took a deep breath, sucked in, and yanked those bad boys over my thighs. They weren't going anywhere. After a few seconds standing and literally jumping into the pants, there was still no luck. I even tried sitting, in hopes that somehow the angle would allow my gams to slither into the pants. I finally tried one leg at a time, which seemed to work best, but it still was looking like I won't make the performance. I took one last gigantic breath and sucked in everything I had. As I was about to check the church kitchen for some butter, the pants magically slid over and were now around my waist. 

"Okay, step one down, now I just need to button them."

Yeah, not going to happen. I could barely get the zipper up. "Where did he get these pants, Baby Gap?" Using my resources under the gun, I grabbed an extra cumberbun and used it to cover the fact that these pants were not buttoned and wide open. (The breeze did feel nice during the concert.) 

This will have to do, I told myself. I began waddling out to meet the guys, just in the knick or time. I could barely move my legs the pants were so tight. 

Sitting in the back row, I sang like I never have before, and maybe even a few notes higher. I really thought I wouldn't be up there with my brothers. I wouldn't be a part of the start of a truly remarkable experience, both for us as young men and this Club itself.

This whole experience made me extremely grateful to be doing what we're doing. I felt as if a part of me was lost for those few minutes when It appeared I wouldn't be singing. Let's hope this is the last thing I forgot, and that there is a Walmart somewhere close to our concert in Orlando. 

 

Jack O'Brien, vice president

Greetings from Florida

With half-open and crusty eyes, junior Jack Andersen and I made it back to the group after a night of home-stays in Kettering. Everyone on the bus was running around like they all drank a pot of coffee. Jokes were flying and people were comparing their home-stays. 

Finally, we started to move. As we started shuffling along, one of the overhead doors was open. Eric Moenich started to make a low hum that sounded eerily similar to that bee noise we heard yesterday.

“MEEEEHHHHHHH” permeated throughout the bus by myriad clubbers. It started to spread like an epidemic. Don’t get me wrong; it was hilarious. The light mood was appropriate and nice this early.

As we drive, we pass a Flowerama. It’s some sort of floral shop. It was definitely closed this early in the morning.

“I like how they have two open signs: open and FUNERAL” Ryan Fry said. The response was met with laughter.

Laughter is heard throughout the bus on many occasions that morning. I could share the jokes, but I’d be typing all morning. 

After a two-hour drive, we made it to the airport. After checking our bags and making it through the arduous TSA checkpoint, we all boarded the plane, and we heard a small voice come on the intercom.

“Jeremy, would you come to the front of the plane?”

Dr. Jones moved to the front of the plane and the Glee Club lost it. Hoots and howls erupted from the entire plane. Dr. Jones went ahead and introduced the Glee Club, and then we went ahead and sang the first verse of Brother, Sing On!

The flight attendants pulled out their phones and we were met with a round of applause. What a great feeling. To top it off, they also gave special mention to junior Alexander Owens due to his upcoming assignment as an officer in the military. He even got a Junior Pilot’s hat. What a great moment to watch.

I started to doze off on the plane. I was playing some music on my phone, and then I heard a voice as I slowly reentered reality.

“Do you want some peanuts?” The voice says.

Could it be? It’s Kevin Krumpack and Charlie Rumsey! They somehow ended up passing out peanuts on the plane. I would have never guessed. It was a surreal experience. It was like it was our plane.

We then hit turbulence. The plane shook violently as people scrambled back to their seats. As I typed this line, my fingers were being tossed off the keyboard. The flight attendant looked with a stoic demeanor down the aisle. You would think we lost power to the engine or something. It was over shortly after.

“Okay everyone, the Men’s Glee Club is going to sing one more song for everyone” Dr. Jones states over the sound system.

The group sings the Fight Song with, of course, the flight attendant groupies taking more videos to show their suburban, housewife friends. 

We made it to the airport. It felt good to be on the ground again.

On the bus, I played my first game of Mafia. That game is awesome. I was the sheriff the first time around, and I accidentally told everyone on the first round who I was (a bad idea). When the moderator told the townspeople to wake up, I ended up showing my inexperience.

“Am I a townsperson?” I said while being met with howls of laughter. 

That’s essentially like asking if the sky is blue. Freshman Brandon Klein was eliminated first, and apparently he was eliminated first every game. He wanted me to make sure that his losing streak ended up in the blog post. The townspeople, my team, won the match, and I found out I love Mafia.

We check into our hotel rooms, and then we head out to our first concert venue. Our first concert in Florida is about to commence, and I’m stoked. I’m also glad I got some sleep the previous night.

We arrived at our first destination: The Villages. It was a serene, gold-plated retirement home with calming elevator music in the background. While there wasn’t actually elevator music playing, it could have been and no one would have questioned it. We entered the lobby. There were a plethora of lounge lizards sitting around enjoying their golden years. They were pleased to see some young faces. Everyone was looking at us like we were about to bring them Christmas presents. It wasn't an uncomfortable feeling by any means, and they seemed to be happy that there was a break from their routine.

We sang our concert set, and it went very well. It was definitely better than last night. Not that last night was bad, but tonight we were in our element; we had the entrances, tempo, and tonality down to a point. I ended up talking to over thirty seniors, and I was met with a flood of compliments about our group. It was a definite ego stroke.

We then got back on the bus. The air felt as if it were a cool summer night. I had to shake myself and remember that this was not Ohio. That bus ride back was one of the most open discussion sessions we have had as a bus. People starting telling their  fears, aspirations, and hopes in a way that wasn’t present before. The more time we spent together, the deeper our bond grew.

It’s amazing where life can take you. A few months ago I didn’t even know there was a Glee Club. Now, I’m here running around with white gloves on making instrument gestures and belting harmonies. Until Tomorrow.

 

Andrew Kondik, copywriter

Goodbye, Snow

It’s cold. It’s so cold. It doesn’t take long for your face to become an icicle in this frigid Ohio air. Although the temperature is low, morale is high; the Miami University Men’s Glee Club is on their first day of tour! As we all culminate in Presser 222, our usual practice room, people mingle about and ask the classic:

“How was your break?” 

“It was good! And yours?"

“It was fine.”

And so on until it was time to break into rehearsal. It felt good to brush off the cobwebs and sing some old songs from previous concerts. We ran through a good amount of songs and then went through tour procedure. After a shuttle over to Millet, we were off. Well, we were on the bus waiting impatiently…

Casey Wood says, “We have to do attendance.”

“BOOO,” everyone chimes in from the back.

Apparently it’s tradition to be apart of the ‘Piss and Moan’ club if you sit in the back. It’s a seniority thing.

As Casey went through the list, he was met with melodramatic or comical responses as the roll call went on. Everyone did their best to upset Casey as he went through the names. Casey met it with cutting most people off as howls of laughter could be heard throughout the entire bus. Out of nowhere, Harry Fox is missing. We all look around and make some jokes as to why he is late.

As we wait, we’re met with a special guest. Dr. Jones walks on the bus with his daughter. He informs the bus that our job is to bring her home an alligator under the bus. Dr. Jones makes sure she agrees. She looks at us with a small shake of her heard and buries her face in Dr. Jones’s shoulder. We all laugh at the cuteness.

And then, out of nowhere, Harry Fox turns to me and says, “Is this seat taken?”

As we move along this drab, snowy interstate, bus one gets into an intense discussion about all things nerdy: Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pixar, you name it. We found out that most people are Ravenclaws and that most people have something to complain about in the Star Wars series. You can feel the bonding. It’s a time where most people are putting down their guards and contributing to the conversation. The jokes are getting raunchier and people are starting to tease each other. It’s a great vibe.

Whenever someone stands up, they’re met with jabs about sitting down. That eventually turned into a group effort to make noise. For example, someone stands up and all you hear is, “MEEEHHHHHHHHH” until they sit down. It sounds like a bee buzzing swiftly towards you.

The Glee Club performance took place in a Methodist church in Dayton. It was our first performance in quite some time, but it was still a show the audience enjoyed. it really is true that the audience can’t tell when a mistake happens.

We finished the night with our respective home-stays, where generous hosts take in clubbers, and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my first one. Jack and Arlene Akerman were wonderful, and I learned so much about their pasts. They told us a story about how their name always gets misspelled and mispronounced, so I want to clarify that it is pronounced like acre. Jack Andersen was my roommate. Even though I’ve met most people in club, I met Jack for the first time last night. Arlene made a joke about how ’tough’ it was going to be to remember Jack considering it was the name of her husband. It’s astounding how complete strangers can come together over music. I know more great things are to come. Until tomorrow.

 

Andrew Kondik, copywriter

And so it begins..

Hello, 

I am writing this first post with much excitement and anticipation, similar to that of a child on Christmas Eve. In three short days, this group will embark on a 10-day journey to America's sunniest state, Florida. As clubbers such as myself begin to trickle into cold and quiet Oxford, what was once a far off dream is now becoming a reality. 

On Monday many clubbers will congregate at the Club House, club's second home. Kevin Keuthe's famous chili will be gobbled up in a matter of minutes, a chilly football game will be played and brotherhood will be in the air. This pre-tour tradition has set a wonderful tone for many great tours- I expect no exception here. After a night of rest and a lunchtime breakfast, the 75 clubbers traveling on this year's tour will congregate in Presser 222 once again (club's rehearsal room). After a two and a half hour rehearsal, club will board the busses and depart for a Farewell Tour in Kettering to bring another tour tradition back to life. 

This is only the beginning my friends. 

I encourage you to continue to follow this blog for daily updates on this year's tour to Florida. Thank you for your continued support of this group and we hope to see you in Florida for what may be the best tour ever. 

Cheers, 

Casey Wood, tour manager