We were happy to be going back to W. Va, 25 years after Chanticleer had been there. It turned out to be a day for the books, here described and photographed by Andy and Zach.
Yesterday turned out to be livelier than expected. As we arrived in Parkersburg we learned very quickly that there had been an industrial fire at a plastics storage facility. The air was thick with smoke, an eerily similar situation to what we've been experiencing in San Francisco, although instead of smelling like a bonfire, this was the distinct smell of burning plastic.
As we were driving into town in a pretty heavy rain, we got word that the master class has been moved from the school to our concert venue. We were scheduled to work with a boys choir and the high school chamber singers. Upon arrival at the concert venue though, we found out that school has been canceled, another product of the fire. Only half of the boys choir was there and because of the cancellations, none of the high school choir had shown up. There were enough students and spectators though to be able to go on with the master class.
We worked with the boys choir for the full hour instead of splitting it half-and-half between the boys in the high school. Once one hour rolled around however, We heard that the high school choir was on its way over and would still love to have a master class if we would stay longer. We did feel bad that all of this was out of their control and we did have the time to stay a little longer, so we ended up working another full hour with the high school choir. The Parkersburg music program is the oldest in West Virginia and they definitely prove themselves to be very good. We really enjoyed our time with them.
At the evening concert, we felt that we were a welcome distraction to our audience in Parkserburg who were in the middle of a local disaster. in the Smoot Theater, an old vaudeville and movie theatre that was built in l926.