The George Bragg Library
. . . from the "Director's Diary"
On Touring (October 1972)
The Life of a Choirboy on tour is a constant adventure; full of challenge, excitement and improvisation as an awakening member of the family of Man.
It is difficult to describe to one who has never been a choirboy in such a venture, the many-faceted life which he leads as a touring member.
The day begins, usually about 8-10 hours after it ends, depending on the need for travel, school work, rehearsal or educational sightseeing. The ideal rest each day is 10-11 hours, sometimes 12, again according to conditions and need.
Why is rest so important? The answer lies in the need for energy - for singing (two hours each day), for rehearsal (45 minutes to an hour each day), for unloading and loading a bus and its total contents each day (about 1-1/2 hours), not to mention 4 hours a day for studies.
This leaves approximately 5 hours a day for eating and miscellaneous matters.
Such a rugged schedule would seem to be a limiting factor. It definitely has its limitations, so that we keep our noses to something of a grindstone - ever-sharpened
on the wheel of repetition - and our minds routinely measure the success of the concert the night before, and anticipate the improvements to be made in time for the next audience.
Each mile of highway is a new sight, full of the information of what makes a land and its people unique. Each city is a special place - with its own history, its own
accomplishments and needs, and its own brand of living and hospitality.
Tour is a time of awakening for a choirboy as he travels and views first-hand the handiwork of God. He loses his fear of Strangeness, and anticipates the approaching Unknown - as he anticipates each day - with wide-eyed wonder and perpetual hope, knowing that no matter how difficult a situation may become, there is solution.
On the back of a Greyhound, he is a contemporary Aladdin, viewing as he glides across America, the modem miracles of Man.
He sees deserts turned into beautiful gardens; giant ribbons of concrete looking like great conveyor belts moving people and vehicles across the land; earth turned into stones to make buildings of great size and beauty; and, sections of our land, so spectacular, so inspiring to the mind, that Man has willed that he will leave it alone, so magnificent is it, that he cannot improve upon it because he cannot comprehend it.
A choirboy is never the same after he has toured as a Concert boy. People have a different look; time, a different purpose; distance, a new dimension. The world is viewed everlastingly as an adventure in Technicolor, calling on all his faculties to be put to test. Most importantly, I suppose, he feels afterwards that he has joined and is part of the family of Man.
The dividend of return is in direct proportion to the investment of time.
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