General observations…

We spent much of today watching the first sessions of the quartet competition, and a few things have leapt out at me.
First, how incredibly polite they all are. Everyone says hello to you, whether in the hotel hall, the elevator, or just passing on the street! Of course we all have distinctive name badges, so you know exactly who is involved with the convention, which may have an effect on that…
Second, the manners in the hall are absolutely mind blowing! When a quartet is singing, you could hear a pin drop in the audience. No one speaks, cell phones are off, no photography is allowed, no one is permitted to enter or exit the hall, and pretty much everyone’s attention is riveted on the stage. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

I’d say the venue is about half the size of Copps in Hamilton, and our seats are on the floor level, near the back, with the rest of the chorus from Batavia. I’ve met two other women, and both have been very friendly and welcoming. The sound system is excellent, and there are two large screens, one on either side of the stage, so you can see the closeups. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all the performances we’ve seen so far.

Tonight we went out for a walk so Andre could take some night photos of the lights in the city. It was incredibly warm when we set out, but you quickly get used to it. He got some amazing photos, playing with the light settings. At one point I was sitting beside a fountain while he took a photo, and some random man came along and was sort of watching Andre, and then raised his camera to take a photo of me. Um, say what? However, I’m good natured, so I hammed it up a bit and posed silly for him. He was a good sport and showed me the pic after he took it. Not quite what I’d expected when we set out tonight! 

I’m looking forward to tomorrow – we’re going to watch the semi finals of the quartets, from 11-3, then we’re heading over to visit my friend Becky from Usgals. I’m so excited about seeing her again. The last time we met was 5 years ago for Marsha’s funeral, so this will be a much happier occasion. She’s invited us out for a bbq dinner at her house, and I can’t wait! I also get to meet her kids, especially Chloe, for whom all of us in Usgals have a very special place in our hearts. I expect some wonderful photos out of this….

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