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A Boy and his Spoon!

Mr. Fowler surveys the playing field.Going Deep.The Winner!

You can imagine that with 50 years of singing boys, there are many traditions in Houston Boychoir.  The most honorable award is the Singing Boy of the year, but my personal favorite is the Spoon Award.

One of the fun things about being in Houston Boychoir  [are] that we have many opportunities to eat out; that is where the Spoon Award comes in. In order to win this award you have to eat every thing on your plate and be neat, (or as Mr. Fowler is quick to remind us, ” it is quantity and quality”)  but the spoon is always watching!

In my 2 years of going on tour with HBC, after our formal dinner we’ve always gone to get ice cream. Every boy gets whatever he wants and then the 4 boys, that have been neat and have eaten every thing on their plate, year round, are chosen to participate in the competition.

At the competition Mr. Fowler orders a lot of ice cream. The four boys sit at a table with the ice cream. They have a specified limit to eat but, there’s one more twist, you don’t get to eat with regular utensils, you must eat with an item that has something to do with tour (this year it was a miniature minor’s hat keyring or it could be a guitar pick like the year we were in Nashville). Eventually after all that, the boys start eating. When the time limit ends they are judged on neatness and amount eaten. Who ever wins gets the special spoon for the year and his name on a plaque. If the same person gets it for 3 years the spoon is retired.

Going Deep.

Adrian Alhadidi, 7th grade

The Winner!

Choirs on Tour, the game changes

Touring with choirs has changed over the years as the times have changed. One of the goals of tour is to help young boys develop independence, responsibility and self reliance in addition to providing them opportunities that are both unique and fun.

With the advent of current technology we are never out of reach and yet we are frequently not in touch with the people next to us because we are lost in cyberspace: texting, facebooking, tweeting and just surfing. There is a difficult balance to be found between the ease of staying in touch and the difficulty in letting go.

Each traveling organization will have to work this balance into its psyche. A great deal of time and energy will be spent.

While tours are arranged in the best detail available before leaving we cannot predict what the road will bring and expectations can be difficult to negotiate. Will we always have internet access, will we have time when we do have access,

A director knows that parents and families are interested and thinking about their children when they are away but where is the balance supposed to be while on the road. Should the staff be focused on the children, on their safety, on their interests, on getting to know them better as people or should they be focused on how to get to the next point of contact with home so that parents concerns and fears can be alleviated. This is the new age of travel as it has changed in the past 5 years.

Touring is worth every headache and every lost hour of sleep. The joy of watching childrend develop skills they will need to negotiate life is priceless. This year’s tour has been terrific. The drive was long but easy and I never once heard, “when are we going to be there”” which is always a blessing.

The boys are having a great time and singing beautifully…really really well. The experinece in Pueblo was remarkable for them. They were an inspiration to the other children and pushed themselves to be everything we teach them to be and everything we hope they will be today and beyond.

Today will bring a boatride on the river in Pueblo and goodbyes to new friends. Happily technology will help them keep up with these new friends with common interests in music.

All too soon we will be back on that bus ride home. I am grateful for our drivers. They both have been spectacular, caring for our every need and appropriately concerned with our safety. First Class Tours are just that! I can only hope the ride home is as free from, the eternal, “are we there yet” as the ride has been thus far.