These days it's rare to perform on a three show weekend. Main Street had the pleasure to be headlining the Naples/Ft Meyers Chapter show down in Naples, FL. The first show was on Friday evening. Mike and Myron drove down together as Roger and met Tony at EPCOT after work and followed behind us. Traffic wasn't too bad on the almost four hour drive south. Tony and Roger were fortunate to get a front row seat of some Navy jets performing some flight exercises directly over the Interstate.
We arrived at the church after the show had already started. A quick warmup and run through of a few tunes helped us to be focused for our performance. While it was an older crowd the response we received was incredible. It was a memorable experience for the quartet to perform for such an enthusiastic audience.
Afterwards we followed the chorus to a restaurant for a little post-show meal. We sang for the owner who loved the quartet so much she gave us all free dessert! Main Street closed out the afterglow and even stuck around for the next hour in the parking lot talking 'shop and hanging out.... just the four of us. I think it says a lot about our friendship that the location of where we socialize isn't important.
Saturday morning Myron and Mike woke up early and hit the fitness center. Once everyone was awake we had some lunch at First Watch then headed directly to the show. The afternoon performance was a big hit. In fact, a highlight for us was the tag of Apple Blossom Time when we created a very loud undertone! Check out the video below to hear it yourself!
The quartet had a nice dinner at the Cheesecake Factory then finished our last set on the evening show. The afterglow was held at a clubhouse in a gated community a few miles away. Before the quartet sang the chapter had a large television setup to play a surprise video. It was a clip of Tony DeRosa as a young teenager singing in a pickup quartet with Joe Connelly, Sean Milligan and Randy Williams for a youth harmony workshop. It was really fun to see all four such young men singing... and very well we might add. It was like a time capsule.
The chapter was gracious enough to allow the quartet to sing first since we had a four hour drive home and two of us had to work in the morning. The quartet helped keep each other awake by texting comments between both cars. Poor Roger, who didn't get home until 3:30am and had to be up by 5:30 to get to Disney on time. Mike suffered from a lack of sleep over the past few days which took him a week for his voice to recover. While it may have been rough on our bodies following the show weekend, the quartet had a fantastic time and was very happy to be asked to perform with the Naples chapter.
Today marks the quartet's one year anniversary! It was on March 20th when the quartet met at Tony's home in Winter Garden, FL and began learning new music for a contest two weeks away.
Since that time the quartet qualified for International, placed fifth in the International contest, won the SUN District championship, performed on several shows across the United States and qualifed a second time for the International contest in Portland, OR. We are having a blast singing together as well as enjoy the great people we've met in our travels. Looking forward to another year tappin' and singin'!
On the weekend of March 9-11 Main Street headed up to Gadsden, Alabama to compete in an out-of-District preliminary contest for the upcoming International convention in Portland, OR.
The weekend began on Thursday night as Mike drove up from Orlando and spent the night in Atlanta. Mike had reserved a room ahead of time and from the website it looked like a nice, clean hotel. Upon entering the hotel the lobby looked very respectable. However, once he took the elevator to his floor it was clear this hotel was in dire need of repair. It was bad! Fortunately, he was only staying there to sleep for the night and head out the next morning. The icing on the cake was the elevator inspection note which said it was two months overdue for inspection. Nice.
Tony, Roger and Myron all flew into Birmingham, AL and rented a car for the 45 minute drive to Gadsden. Mike had a two hour drive from Atlanta. One of the biggest surprises was crossing a path of destruction where a tornado had passed through a year ago. Very sobering moment. Check out some of the pictures below.
The quartet got together in the afternoon for some rehearsal time. Mike had been dealing with a nasty cold all week and was concerned about his vocal abilities. Once the quartet had warmed up Mike's voice was in pretty good shape. After an hour long warmup the quartet headed to Ruby Tuesdays for some dinner, then went back to the hotel to dress in costume.
Backstage the quartet was very relaxed and feeling comfortable for the competition. We did a few run throughs before hitting the stage. When we were announced the first thing that immediately hit us all was how HOT the stage was. It was like a furnace blowing hot air on the quartet. We opened the first set with one of our favorite songs to sing, Apple Blossom Time. At the end of the tag we received an immediate standing ovation from the DIX District audience. WOW! What a response and warm welcome. The second song was Fit As A Fiddle, a tune which requires an extradordinary amount of stamina due to both the song's arrangement and the choreo routine. We finished the song to yet another standing ovation. Walking offstage the quartet felt really good about our hit. It was decided to celebrate by going to the local Waffle House and eat some yummy waffles!
After WH we drove back to the hotel and hung out in the hospitality room sponsored by our friends, A Mighty Wind. The room was loaded with food and drinks. We socialized for awhle before going back to our rooms for some good sleep.
Saturday was a slow day. Took our time waking up. In the mid-day we drove to the chorus contest and watched the last five choruses compete as well as support our friend Clay Hine and his chorus, Atlanta Vocal Project sing at the end of the contest. Afterwards we went back to the hotel for some singing and another trip to Ruby Tuesdays for dinner.
The Saturday evening contest was great. The quartet sang Wait Til The Sun Shines Nellie and finished the set with Coney Island Washboard Roundelay. Another ovation from the audience helped complete a really fun competing experience in the Dxie District. About an hour later the announcements were made and Main Street was thrilled to qualify with one of our highest scores to date. Our evaluation session following the contest was extremely positive and motivating. We feel as though we are headed on the right track and making good decisions with our music and performance choices.
The quartet sang at a few afterglow rooms then went to celebrate our qualification by eating a late night dinner at Waffle House! When we got back to the hotel we walked by the fitness center. Tony suggested we shoot a video wishing Joe Connelly a Happy Birthday. Once we filmed that segment Tony thought it might be fun to film another Main Street silent film! We shot a bunch of silly moments with no real story idea in place. It took a few days before Mike had an idea to make a film about the quartet getting in shape for an upcoming contest. The competed film can be found on our website. The film was submitted to the Silent Film Director website and was voted as Best Film of the Week by their judges and runner-up for Best Film of the Month in March.
Roger, Tony and Myron had very early flights out of Birmingham on Sunday morning so they decided not to go to bed. They were all home by 10am. Mike hit the road around 10am and twelve hours later pulled into his driveway in Orlando.
The quartet had a lot of fun up in Gadsden, AL and were thankful to both the Sunshine and Dixie Districts who were gracious enough to let us compete. We look forward to upcoming rehearsals as we prepare for the International contest in July!
Two days after performing in Leesburg, FL the quartet took a very early flight (3am wake up call!) to Nebraska City, NE. We must say, this wasn't one of the best weekends for smooth air travel. Before we left the gate from Orlando to Atlanta the pilot informed us there would be no refreshment cart service because the flight attendants will be buckled in the entire flight. Fortunately, the bumps were not as bad as anticipated which was a relief. However, the fella in front of me who was the size of a linebacker was in a "brace yourself" position for the full flight. One hand on the seat in front, the other gripping the armrest and his feet spread apart- one of which was in the aisle! Everytime there was a little bump he would freeze up. I'm not a comfortable flyer (This is Mike typing. Hello!) but even for me it wasn't that bad. God bless him!
The flight to Omaha was nice and smooth. When we landed we were greeted by Nancy and her son, Nick. We had a 45 minute ride to Nebraska City. Myron sat in the backseat with Nick as he entertained Myron with his Playstation game, NHL '07. Myron represented the quartet in fine, heroic fashion!
We pulled up to the our hotel, the Lie Lodge. What a beautiful hotel that looks like a giant log cabin. One of the coolest elements to the hotel was the constant smell of a wood fire burning throughout the hotel. They have a furnace that burns woodchips and spreads the smell in the halls of the hotel. Pretty awesome and very relaxing.
After we ate lunch at the hotel, the quartet headed to Nebraska City High School which was just around the corner and prepared for the show. The afternoon crowd was great and we put on a good show despite all four of us feeling exhausted!
Following the show we went back to the hotel, ate dinner and took a nap. When we returned to the theater we had some time to kill. Myron came across some paper footballs that were made by a student from the school. After playing a little finger football we decided to fim Myron and Roger competing against each other. We weren't sure what we would do with the footage, but it was still fun.
The night show was a big hit and the quartet was very sharp. The afterglow was held at the high school with ice cream and popcorn for snacks.
Once again we had a very early wake up (5am) because we had to get back to Omaha for our flights home. Tony was scheduled to leave later in the day but came with us hoping to catch a flight home with us. Unfortunately he was not able to find a seat and took a flight later in the morning.
While on the flight to Atlanta I decided to play with the video we shot at the school. During most of the flight I was able to
make a rough cut of a new silent film. We took a break in Atlanta as Roger treated us to a stay in the Sky Club. Sweet!Worth it! The flight back to Orlando I cleaned up some of the edit points and by the time we landed I had rendered a Main Street film entitled, Finger Football. The movie can be found on our "Cinema" link.
Tony's flight was about two hours behind us. Unfortunately for him they hit so very heavy turbulence flying back to Orlando where the plane had seven or eight sudden drops. Tony, a two million mile frequent flyer on Delta rated his experience among the top five worst flights.
Special note: Every year the Nebraska City chapter does something for their guest quartets which EVERY chapter should do. The day before we left all of our wives and/or girlfriends received a bouquet of flowers from the chapter thanking them for letting be on their show. Lots of class fellas! Thank you. We had a fun weekend in Nebraska mainly because of the hospitality shown from the members of the chorus. Also, Tony and Roger are looking forward to next year when Nick will sing When The Saints Come Marching In with Keepsake.
The quartet performed on the Friends-of-a-Chord show in Leesburg, Florida last Thursday (March 1st) for a sold out audience. The show was held at The Plantation, a very large retirement community just outside Orlando. Main Street was thrilled to participate in one of those special moments when the audience was playing right along with our act.
Following the performance we went straight to a chorus member's home for food and frolick! Actually, there wasn't any frolicking, but there was an amazing array of food for the performers. We all gained five pounds that night. We sang through some numbers for the afterglow crowd then had to leave early for all of us had work the next day. Thank you ladies of Leesburg! We had so much fun!