Our LAB choir did its last pre-concert appearance for us in Carmel. That was as far afield as they could go - and that was pretty far. We really appreciated having them at our first four Mission Road concerts - audiences were charmed and curious to pause a moment and listen to them on the way in. We hadn't planned anything for San Luis Obispo because the Paso Robles singers were busy with graduation. A good thing - they wouldn't have been heard over the country western band performing in the Plaza. "Las Voces Celestiales" from Paso Robles High School wanted to participate however, as they had been working with our Education Director Ben Johns during the year on music of the missions and New Spain. They came on to Santa Barbara last night and appeared on the steps of the mission before the concert. 15 of them had graduated the night before! Their longtime director, Mary Schmutz, was retiring as of yesterday, so this was her last official act. Dedicated high school choir directors like her are where it all really happens. We salute her, and thank her, and wish her the happiest of retirements. Her kids sounded great!

Meanwhile Joe Ledbetter from our office had the pleasure of announcing to people hoping to get in who didn't already have tickets that we were sold out. Eventually we made space for some of the disappointed in the side chapel where the Paso Robles choir sat for the concert. That made for a very festive last Mission Road concert.

Thanks to "Las Voces Celestiales" and Mary Schmutz and the Louis A. Botto LAB Choir 6.5 for making a huge contribution to the success of this tour.

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