The CCC has been planning the Military Show for almost a year, but hardly any of us knew anything about the Honor Flight Network. Two weeks prior to the show, Jeff and Marsha Bowyer acted as Guardians for two WW II vets to travel to Washington, DC on a one day tour to see the memorials and other special sites. Our interest was awakened.
Then, just four days before our show, CCC President James Tidwell served as a Guardian for his 90 year old father (at the left), who served in the Pacific during WW II. In the background are monuments – part of the WW II memorial. There were 101 veterans on this flight which began and ended in Oklahoma City.
The CCC collected donations for this fine program at the show and gathered more than $2,500 to be used in support of vets who will receive this free and meaningful recognition many years after the military service ended.
There are no words to adequately describe the feelings/emotions present during the two hour Military Memories Show held in the Dvorak Concert Hall on June 9th, but here are some show facts…by the numbers.
- 6,500 Dollars donated by wonderful area Patrons in support of the CCC
- 2,500 Dollars collected by the CCC during the show, for the Central Illinois Honor Flight Program
- 550+ Seats occupied…a near full house…our best show attendance in the new Dvorak Concert
- 250 People attended and enjoyed the post show Dinner and After Glow Program
- 100 Chorus singers from Bloomington and CCC performed “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” as the final number on the program
- 80 Eighty Veterans stood to be recognized as the CCC sang “The Armed Forces Medley”
- 65 Bloomington (SOI) performed on the show
- 59 Median age of the CCC chorus members
- 50 An American Flag (50 feet wide) was lowered from the ceiling during the Battle Hymn of the Republic
- 43 This was the 43rd Annual Summer Show for the CCC
- 36 CCC men sang in the chorus
- 34 CCC men sang in quartets and ensembles…the other two were busy with Mail Call duties
- 25 Times that the songs or other visual presentations were sobering to the extent that singers and audience members got misty eyed
- 25 Times, that the songs or other visual presentations made everyone laugh out loud, smile or clap spontaneously
- 16 Last summer, our special guest quartet from Bloomington, placed 16th in the world at the International Contest.
- 6 Service Men (CCC members) got letters during the Mail Call…then a six foot box was delivered.
- 4 Charleston High School girls wowed the audience with their antics and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree”
- 2 There were two father-son combinations performing with the CCC
- 1 First time ever for a female (Sharon Gilbert) Narrator at a CCC Show.
A COMPLETE PHOTO SUMMARY IS BEING PREPARED TO BE SENT OUT SOON…check your mail box in the next 24 hours.
LAST NIGHT (TUESDAY NIGHT)
Two dozen men showed up at the practice site and there was a great deal of talk about the show. Some shared the positive comments they heard from audience members while others told how they enjoyed the focused good singing and the fun entertaining antics involved.
Though the CCC has always been a tight musical fellowship, it seemed that a central thread of discussion was the song “Friends”. This is the first time we’ve ever sung it and once a person gets past the great chords that David Wright arranged, he must find a way to negotiate the emotionally charged lyrics. It may well be that the song will become our theme song, for indeed we are great friends.
Finally, we pulled out three old songs that we’ve not sung for over a year. It was interesting to see what we remembered.
The men divided themselves into groups of two (very experienced and lesser experienced) and then sat together to see how well the could score on a CCC quiz aimed at knowing our members and special inside information about how our singers were involved in the show. The best score was 34 out of 36.
In the foreground, Raymond and Steve are working hard, while other twosomes help each other.
Taking a relaxed break is something we don’t do all that often. When finished, each man was asked to sing a pole cat song in a quartet or join in an ensemble. There wasn’t much “cupping” in their stance, but this group sang well. “Rookie” Bruce is seated at the right, taking notes on performance errors.
Roger Smith, 2011 BOTY, is still in extreme pain (back problem) but he looked a bit more relaxed when directing our closing “Keep the Whole World Singing.” Last Saturday, he directed the same song at the show, with 100 singers in a combined CCC and SOI chorus.
Behind the Scenes
Rich Helton’s middle name must be “Compassion”. He is always there for someone. He experienced a knee replacement a couple of months ago, but then has been spending significant time with family medical concerns (mother and wife). When a neighbor and long time friend needed cardiac surgery, Rich was the guy who drove him to Champaign, stayed with him and has made numerous trips with him to see doctors.
Just prior to our show, his pastor (who has no living relatives in Charleston) was diagnosed with a potentially very serious leukemia condition, so now it is Rich, making trips back and forth to Chicago in support of his pastor friend…who by the way appears to be much better. We’ve got a chorus full of compassionate men, but right now, Rich is leading the pack.
We’ll want to keep Ron Hawkins and his mother in our prayers. She has been hospitalized since our show last weekend. Diagnostic testing is still being done.
JUNE 12th thru JULY 31st GUEST NIGHTS Bring a friend….expose him to the CCC and our Musical Fellowship
JULY 3rd – 7th INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION AND CONTEST Portland, Oregon
A CARTOON SUBMITTED BY JAMES TIDWELL, Chorus President, Lyrics Recaller and Copyright Advisor