We’ve been working toward this tour all year, with at least three hours of rehearsal every day for the past month. We’ve all heard over and over again that this will be one of the greatest and most unique experience of our lives.
Day 4: Montreux, Switzerland
Main Street doesn’t do casual touring. We have one or two formal concerts a day, including our chaotic first day. Otherwise, we’re touring towns and churches, and the only rest is when we finally get back to the hotel at night.
But in this town, we’ve all been placed in homestays. Homestay hosts are like substitute parents: my host came to both our concerts here, prepared tea and dinner, and even gave me chocolate. I’m staying in a Swiss house, eating Swiss food, and even attempting to communicate in French, which requires me to use more hand gestures than a mime.
My room has a view of Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps—a scene that can be found on just about any Swiss chocolate wrapper but is much more impressive in real life.
Day 7: Lucerne, Switzerland
Today we were give free time until evening. Free time on tour isn’t as relaxing as it sounds—it’s not a return-to-the-hotel-and-sleep time. We split into groups of five minimum and tour the city on our own. We do this in every new city for a few hours, and we also do it every day for lunch.
It’s not like we can go to the fridge and grab a snack whenever we’re hungry, so lunch needs to be big. Luckily, everywhere has excellent food. Even truck stops have amazing sandwiches and pastries.
Once we’ve fed ourselves, we can go shopping, walk into random churches or go to a a Monoprix (the Swiss equivalent of Wal-Mart, except slightly better quality).
Day 11: Brussels, Belgium
Today’s early concert started of with a surprise: Sophomore Jake Powers, a Main Streeter who moved to Boston two months ago, flew out to join us for the rest of tour.
The day only got better from there—we went to the main square in Brussels and bought some excellent Belgian chocolate and waffles.
Apparently, groups of 30 teenagers in tuxes and dresses aren’t common here—several tourists wanted to take pictures of us. We ended up singing a few songs for them, which attracted an even bigger crowd.
Day 16: Paris, France
The first concert today in the Notre Dame Cathedral, possibly the most famous and exclusive cathedral in the world. The application process takes months of negotiating and sending in audition tapes. We all had this in mind when we walked into the cathedral. It was hard to believe that we actually got to sing there. It was also almost completely filled—there must have been over 500 people.
About halfway through the concert, the enormity of our tour really hit me. Here I was, singing with one of my nation’s best high school choirs in Notre Dame in Paris. In September, we could barely sing out enough to fill the choir room, and now we were making music that could be heard at the back of an enormous cathedral.
We didn’t go into tour as a finished product—every single concert was an effort to do better. The growth of our group has been amazing—quieter singers have discovered how to sing big, others have learned how to concentrate and we’ve all reached a new level in our music. This growth is what tour is really about.
All of us have grown up, both as singers and as individuals, and we have grown together, fighting and laughing like a family. We have all made this effort and taken this journey together, and it has paid off with one of the most intense and rewarding experiences of our lives.