Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Stand Together

If we stand together, we will sing forever of our dreams growing in our hearts. ~ Stand Together by Jim Papoulis

Today we began the long trip home with a stop to play at Darien Lake Amusement Park. Many rode a roller coaster for the first time. We all enjoyed spending time together; riding the roller coasters, and sliding down the water slides. So much fun!

Then we headed back to Canada to cross the border yet again. The Choir has been fantastic at the border crossings. A few miles before the crossing, passports and birth certificates are passed out to each person. When we pull up to the crossing, all talking stops. Each crossing has been different. Today, we went inside a building and each presented documentation.

We visited the Canadian side of Niagra Falls. This was a first visit to Niagra Falls for a majority of the group. The falls are breathtaking! At one point, the mist made it feel it was raining. A rainbow appeared. So special!

We continued on to Cambridge in northern Ontario to spend the night with the Swan family. Thank you so much for the fantastic dinner! Tomorrow, we will begin our final leg and may be home late in the afternoon. The internet seems slow at the hotel. I'll do my best to upload some photos from the last couple of days. It has been an unforgettable trip! Looking forward to reuniting with our families tomorrow!

Thank you for the music!

A quote from Brandon sums up last night's concert perfectly! "That was the best concert EVER! I sang my heart out! I even sang louder than Colton!!"

Everyone sang their hearts out!!! What a FABULOUS final concert! The excitement was electric! LTYC has never sounded more amazing!!! Each one of our singers has grown so much over the course of a year; but every singer has grown as a group over the tour! They were having so much fun together it was pure joy to experience! In a little over a week, cliques dissolved into unity. Lots of hugs, tears and emotion after the final concert.

We celebrated with ice cream! Ice cream dollars have been awarded and lost throughout the trip. The final dollars were earned:  $2 for making Mrs. Marvin cry when the Choir surprised her at dinner, gathering around her to sing Irish Blessing, $4 for singing with beautiful tone, pitch, and for following her direction so well with crescendos and decrescendos, $50 for a FANTASTIC final concert. Mr. Kukuk had budgeted $3 per member and Peter and Charles Hansberger told everyone to order whatever they wanted off the menu and picked up the difference! Thank you, Peter and Charles and to everyone who stayed open late for us!!

The Choir sang "Thank you for the ice cream. For giving it to me..." followed by an encore composed by Alex, "You are the best ice cream I've ever seen. Only $2.19."; all set to the tune of Dancing Queen.

We're getting ready to head to Darian Lake Amusement Park and Niagra Falls today, then home to Petoskey tomorrow afternoon. :)

Thank you for the music. For giving it to me! ~ Abba

Monday, June 17, 2013

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
~Mark Twain

Today was a day for exploration. A day to rest. A day to play. This morning I woke and gasped, treated to one of the most beautiful sunrises I've ever seen! We explored Silver Bay;
some hiking up, others walking down to the water and all had an amazing time and special times with friends. We had a very scenic drive to Glenora and will be here for two nights.  Everyone enjoyed time on the shores of Seneca Lake with Matt and Joy Perry and the many wonderful host families on Seneca Lake!

Tomorrow more time to explore, dream and discover as we visit Mark Twain country. Leaving you tonight with some wonderful examples of the things that can happen when you throw of the bowlines and sail away from safe harbor.

If you live near Elmira, N.Y., please join us for a Gala Concert with the Little Traverse Youth Choir, Stand Together 2013. The concert will be held at Mark Twain's Elmira Church, United Church of Christ, 208 West Gray St., Elmira, N.Y. on Tuesday, June 18 at 7:00pm.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Dancing Queen

Gary Marvin has always wanted to be an ABBA groupie and he finally has his chance. He even has his very own ABBA watch. It doesn't need a battery because “every time is ABBA time!”

Our very own Dancing Queen made his first appearance at Ottawa's City Hall, with several repeat performances.

We had an amazing visit to Quebec City! The photos are loading as I type. Difficult walking with steep hills and lots of stairs, but it felt as though we were in Europe and everywhere you looked was picturesque. We had an opportunity to use the French we had been practicing on the bus. Most people were very helpful and appreciated the fact that we were trying. The Choir even had a
Flash Mob and picked up an additional chaperone groupie
claimed to be the Dancing Queen! So fun! Video to follow when we can get it uploaded. 
This morning LTYC sang during morning worship at St. Andrew’sPresbyterian Church, were treated to lunch by the congregation and gave an afternoon concert to a very appreciative audience. The Choir had so much fun singing! One member in the audience bought the tour CD after morning worship, listened to it before the concert and excitedly told people it was going to be a great concert! We met a couple originally from Ann Arbor, now living in Philadelphia, who were also visiting Quebec City.  They decided to go to church this morning and attended St. Andrew’s because the service is in English. What a surprise to find a choir from Michigan so they came back in the afternoon to enjoy!

This afternoon we said goodbye to gorgeous Quebec City and drove through the Adirondack foothills to Silver Bay! Moonlight was dancing on the water. Looking forward to seeing this beautiful area during daylight! We’re tucked into the most adorable rooms in what must be one of the most beautiful YMCA camps! I finish typing as the loons call on the lake. 

Our dads were very much in our thoughts today and I hope everyone could feel the good wishes that were sent their way. Wishing all our dads a very happy Father's Day! I just finished loading Quebec City photos for you. Start at page 30. Please ignore any leaning buildings that need a bit of editing. I'll go back a different day with a bit of editing where needed. Time to recharge my battery. :)

Friday, June 14, 2013


What a special day! This morning we returned to Ottawa to sing at the Canadian Parliament Building. We were able to observe the House of Commons in session before the Choir sang in the Rotunda. It was a tremendous honor to sing at Canadian Parliament and we are so grateful to Hyacinth for arranging this.

I was allowed to take photos in an area above and overheard the security guard say choirs sing in the Rotunda three or four times a year.

The Rotunda was beautiful and the acoustics amazing. Their beautiful voices soared. Please enjoy Seal Lullaby on Facebook. Several of our group took videos, so more will be coming.

After the concert, the Choir speed walked/ran 6 blocks to make it from Parliament to City Hall for their second concert. They were amazing! A few of us needed to take a cab and we arrived at nearly the same time!

When singing in City Hall, two women passed by, arguing. One said, "We'll be late."

The other, "I don't care. They're really good!"

After a late lunch, we visited the Canadian Museum of Civilization, a beautiful museum similar to our Smithsonian. We saw Titans of the Ice Age in 3D and had time to visit one or two of the exhibit halls.

Ray and Lydia Renton hosted a barbecue for LTYC and our Dunrobin host families. Delicious food, an outdoor thank you concert and fun with new friends. Lydia also organized the home stays and all of the families were fantastic!

We have enjoyed our stay so much in Ottawa! A warm thank you to all who have made our visit so special! Tomorrow morning we will head for Quebec City for a walking tour of Old Town Quebec City, a visit to St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church where LTYC will sing on Sunday and a special dinner.

Off to upload the Ottawa photos to SmugMug.  Enjoy!

Still wondering about eating a beaver tail? A beaver tail is a sweet fry bread similar to our elephant ear.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


It's Mikayla! We had an exciting day! We got up early this morning and our alarm clocks interrupted our peaceful slumber. Instead of having a mandatory quiet time today most of our morning was super quiet with sleeping choir members. One of our main adventures today was that we went to an old town market with bakeries and different shops. My favorite part was seeing all the different unique stores. We went to a bakery that had a whole row of gluten free and for those of you that are gluten free, you know that is the best thing in the world. : )

It's Richelle! I had a lot of fun today walking around with my group and taking photos at the water fountain. I ate my very first beaver tail!!!

It's Kim. We're going to let you stew on Richelle's last sentence overnight. We had a fantastic time in Ottawa this afternoon! We even found some morels!  Tonight several of us are staying in homes along the Ottawa River. Such gracious hosts and we can see Quebec across the river and we passed the Gatineau Hills on the way here. So beautiful!!! Tomorrow, everyone will gather at the Rentons for a delicious barbecue and a beautiful view of  the Ottawa River. So lovely!

Tonight, as Maddie and Paulina were settling in for the night, they started giggling. They suddenly realized they had played fish in The Jungle Book together when they were eight. Connections and reconnections are forming. We are having so much fun! Sending LTYC greetings home from Ottawa.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Let There Be Peace on Earth

If we stand together, we will sing forever.
Side by side. hope will find a way.

Today began with goodbyes to our new friends from Kitchener. An extra special thank you to Heather McLaughlin who organized yesterday’s delicious pasta dinner and then surprised us this morning by sending fresh baked muffins! Our host families were so gracious and though our visit was short, friendships were formed.

This morning we drove into Toronto, pronounced with a silent second “t”. What a beautiful city! We enjoyed a picnic in the park on Lake Ontario.  The kids had a blast on the playground and we gathered for a photo near the beach before leaving.

There are many perks to traveling with a choir of great kids. Music is one of the best! We were treated to an impromptu Momma Mia as we traveled to our rehearsal with the Yip’s Children’s Choir. There is a fun clip on our Facebook page.

This evening the Little Traverse Youth Choir will perform a joint concert with the Yip’s Children’s Choir.  The Yip’s Children’s Choir was created in 1983 by Dr. Yip Wai-hong. They have earned the title “Cultural Ambassador of Hong Kong.” Their youngest members are five years old. Thanks to their sweet voices, Let Their Be Peace on Earth may never have been more moving? It will be a very special concert!

I leave you with a few quotes from today. We have been invited to a traditional Chinese dinner with the Yip's Children's Choir!

I love the experience of meeting new people from all over! I’m excited for the rest of the week! ~ Sammi

This is such a great opportunity! I hope we can do another tour!~ Carly

It has been so wonderful staying with the host families and meeting the kids from the choirs. They have been very and gracious to all of us. This is a dream come true for me. ~Amy