"9/11 | Coming Together" 20th Anniversary Special

The Tabernacle Choir Blog

From Drowned Rats to Concert Ready

Daily Tour Diary 4

Janet and Daron Bradford


Today started with what we thought would be a lazy wake-up, and we were glad we decided to still set an alarm for 9:00. Across the street from the Marriott Marquis hotel is a Junior's restaurant where we lucked-out with two seats at the counter with a basket full of little cinnamon rolls beside us. A waiter saw us looking longingly at the basket as he doled them out, he took pity on us, and we ended up with three on our plate before delicious meals were served.

We headed out on bus 9, looking forward to a cool afternoon (high of 62 forecast) in Bethel Woods. We drove northwest through rolling, lush countryside.

Bethel Woods is a gorgeous outdoor venue built in 1996, so it's soon to celebrate its 20th birthday. Most know that Woodstock was here in 1969, and while our guests visited the "groovy" museum about the 60s, the choir and orchestra did our sound check. We performed a different concert with different repertoire tonight and so needed to run through most of the pieces - all the while it was raining and COLD. We didn't expect this (east coast is usually very hot and humid) so most of us were wishing we had warmer jackets. There were concerns too that the oboists would not be able to play, because temperatures below 65 degrees mean a chance of the wood cracking. Luckily heaters were found and the crisis averted.

After a yummy buffet, we attempted to transform from drowned rats to concert ready. Our audience was fantastic, and we all managed to enjoy the event through wind gusts, heavy rains, music flying off the stands, and the flag flapping to beat the band. The conductor of the encore was a total surprise: Elder Larry Wilson of the Quorum of the Seventy, the presiding authority on the tour.