STUSA2016 Blog 7: Guten Morganton

We began the day with yet another plentiful breakfast of cereal, cinnamon buns, waffles and the American attempt at sausages. After we had all eaten, we lowered the fun ceiling and all settled down to do some revision. Yes, that’s right folks, despite our tour revelry we have not forgotten that we are in fact diligent students who have degrees to complete. Except for Sam Harper, who has sod all to do as a drama student. The Thomases of the group decided to work outdoors, whilst everyone else holed up in their rooms. On the topic of the outdoors, it may be of interest to the more meteorological amongst our readers to note that the temperature has plummeted to near-British standards. Morganton was a chilly 15°C  – a stark contrast to the humid warmth of Florida. Some complained, whilst Mr Cross gratefully accepted the change (“It’s nice to be reminded of home”).

Following the morning’s occurrences we were transported to the venue, the City of Morganton Municipal Auditorium, by a man with very long hair. Although it looked somewhat rudimentary on the outside (a large brick building), inside it was a large, well-equipped and homely theatre. We swiftly settled into our dressing rooms before our sound check. This particular show was especially exciting for us as a cappella sound engineering specialists Liquid 5th were running our sound. Our sound check was, as always, long and mildly stressful. However any nerves were soon calmed when food was placed in front of us. Ted provided us with yet another insightful comment into the matter: “North Carolina 10 out of 10 for food”. Thank you once again, Mr Bartram, for your assistance. Chicken, Pork, BBQ Sauce, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, salads, calzones and lasagne meant that everyone was catered for and soon energised for the show ahead. After dinner we signed yet another brick on a wall (now we’ve done it twice does it mean we’re celebrities?) and more posters. We also took delivery of another 4 boxes of our new EP Sing Theory because our first bunch sold so quickly!

Hot off the press in all their splendour.

Hot off the press in all their splendour.

The show itself was also of an especially unique nature. Instead of publicising the performance as ‘Semi-Toned: Game of Tones’, this production was part of CoMMA’s mystery shows. They publicise it merely as ‘The Show’. To this effect, we were stunned that nearly half of the auditorium sold when the audience didn’t know what they were coming to see. Only when the curtain rose on our opening number did people know what they were getting themselves in for. Of course, not everyone is a fan of a cappella and as such a few of the audience mysteriously evaporated during the intermission – as is the nature of surprise shows. However, we have come to learn it is quality and not quantity of audience, and those who remained (most of the audience) were big fans of the show and enjoyed it greatly. There is something particularly humbling about the comments that we receive afterwards. I shan’t divulge too much, but the people of Morganton were very kind in their words after the performance and we are incredibly grateful to them for welcoming us to their city.

The CoMMA theatre - not half bad eh?

The CoMMA theatre – not half bad eh?

After the show, Duncan and the more sensible members of the group retired to get an early night before the ungodly start in the morning. In typical style, however, Ashley (accompanied by others) went off to enjoy a post show drink. Attempting to go to El Paso, the local Mexican restaurant, they soon found that it was closed. How sad. Instead they had a drink in the hotel. Everyone slept soundly for around 4 hours before getting up this morning to catch yet another Greyhound bus (there’s a theme emerging here…). As I sign off for now, at 5.30am, we are crawling out of Charlotte bus station and Michael Luya is chatting away with an Australian man. Such fun!

Henry x