Expanding One’s Life Experiences

By Cole Harper

It has truly been a privilege to have been able to go on tour with my choir. Personally, I love to travel. Nothing makes me happier. Experiencing new places, meeting new people, hearing ideals that differ than my own, learning more about that which makes a difference today. I’ve been to the top of Tokyo Tower in Japan, visited the villages overlooking the coasts of Brazil, climbed the Great Wall in China, and now I can say that I’ve ventured to the Western Coast of the US. Being able to enjoy it this time with close friends and choir members made it all the better. We had our ups and downs, of

View from the tour bus.

View from the tour bus.

course, but we were able to make it through, and made us that much closer to one another. I have since forged new friendships and tempered existing ones into something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

During the tour, we spent about 3 days in Texas, be it on the road or at a hotel. I must say that the landscape was quite breathtaking. The rock features and mountainsides were something out a postcard you’d send to a family member. I’d always assumed they were digitally altered or enhanced in some way, but after seeing the natural masterpieces for myself, I was forced to believe otherwise. It was quite something to randomly wake up, look out of the window of a bus, and see a mountain in the distance against a blue sky and a halo of clouds overlooking a ravine. Really cool.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Los Angeles was another highlight of the tour. Having a day to ourselves to just walk up and down Hollywood Blvd at our leisure was pretty cool. Another one of those moments where you’re seeing something in person that you see on TV. Looking down and seeing the stars under your feet, the Wax museum, the buildings with their props and own characteristics…All in all, pretty cool.

We visited the Crystal Cathedral Church in Garden Grove, CA, and I must say that I was in awe. In all honesty, I’m not really one for the church, but I was most definitely moved by the scenery. Beautiful depictions of the Bible lined the walkway towards the Cathedral, which was adorned with glass and the sound of rushing water. In the light, it was truly deserving of the name “Crystal Cathedral.” It was really…peaceful and quiet. Exactly the kind of atmosphere I love. I must say that it was the only time I had on the tour for myself. Apparently, I was walking slightly ahead of everyone else and just took it all in. The inside of the Cathedral was magnificent, and had such an air of grandeur about it. An orchestra was playing there, which made me think of back when I played the viola. For some reason, I missed it the most that day.

We went to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco soon after that, and were once again giving the opportunity to explore. My group and I took the trolley and went into the city for a bit, after having a little too much harmless fun on the Docks, of course!! That was probably the most fun I’d had with a group.

The Mormon Tabernacle was…truly something to witness. I was taken by the mere architecture of the buildings, and the fact that there was a reason for the design. For example, the statues on the buildings all face East because it is believed that is from where Jesus Christ will return. Hearing yet another belief was something I thoroughly enjoyed. We had the chance to sing inside the Chapel, and that was an amazing experience. The acoustics inside of that building are definitely unique. We were told it was because of the dome-shape, but I believed there to be more to it than that. In any case, I’m glad we stopped there to tour.

All in all, this tour was definitely a great experience. It was VERY tiring, and I went a few days on little sleep (mainly my own fault), but Dr. McGee really did a lot for us during this trip, even though most of us gave him a hard time throughout the trip. Jessica and Justin (our tour managers) also deserve just as much credit for having put together something like this, and Ms. Slaughter for having been with us every step of the way making sure that our experiences are known. It was so gratifying  to be able to perform for all those people, not to mention a lot of fun…I wouldn’t trade this time for anything in the world.

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