“Yo-oh, yo-oh, yo-oh.” Eighty voices sleepily rang out in the cafeteria of the Rosario Beach Marine station. After arriving late the night before, we now tried not to yawn as we held our jaws. It was the first day of Blaylock training. For many, it induces a feeling of excitement, for others, anticipation; and for some, the dread of the hours and hours of practicing. However, I had looked forward to this weekend for weeks, because there is always something new to learn from the not-so-formidable Dr. Blaylock.

After a long morning of practice, we all raced out to our various activities during the break. Some walked along the beach, enjoying the view and the occasional sun bursts; some played volleyball in the sand court, and others searched for the fickle and sporadic wifi throughout the campus. But all too soon, the break was over and it was back to work.

However, once we were back on the risers, it was obvious that the sound we made was different—it was as if something had clicked in our subconscious minds during the break, and now we played and sang far better than before. When the mixed chorus finally stood on the risers that night, the vowels were there, the harmonies lined up, and it sounded as if a new choir stood in our places. Tired yet satisfied with our progress, we headed to bed to rest up for another day of practice.

Our first concert of the year started on Friday night at the Anacortes First Baptist Church. The people filed in until the pews were full. As the orchestra sat patiently on stage, the choir whispered outside of the sanctuary, all waiting for the cue to start. For many nervous new students, this was their first live performance ever, but for the returning ones, concerts were old hat.

The concert flowed smoothly from one song to the next, and as we concluded later, this was our best first concert we had ever had, with no major train wrecks or obvious mistakes. As we continued on with our other concerts, we had the opportunity to share the love of Christ to people with the good news of the gospel. After a long weekend full of practice, concerts, outreach, rain, and smiles, we drove back to school, glad that it was all over, but thankful for the experience and blessings we had gained.

 Fiona W.

Grade 12