Tour Itinerary can be downloaded here!
Parents Meeting details can be Downloaded here!
We are HOME!
Day 15 – July 29, 2017 – St. Joseph, MO – Homecoming
You know a pretty awesome aspect about this day is once it starts and we are all together there is this buzz of energy that is hard to describe, and very difficult to control. They are already talking about how great it will be to be home, but in the same breath they are talking about how they could take a small break and do it all over again. We follow all the same routines all the way home, but you can count on quiet time not lasting much past the hour.
We did get a great opportunity to say thank you to our drivers for their efforts, and patience on getting both buses all the way home safely. Then to arrive home with a escort from the Sherriff’s office and all of our families there waiting to see us in. Again there is something super exciting and very heart warming about the awesomeness of the moment.
Our Green room this year was done by Josh Heckman, which also made appearances every day doing Deep Thoughts on tour every day before our bus worships! Then he appeared in front of the group like a celebrity. From there it was go time, and you could tell the moment the concert started that the group was not going to be denied this opportunity to serve the Lord one more time through song. What an opportunity to just be in the room!
EXTRA, EXTRA – It’s “the parent video!”
Day 15 – In the Morning – Tour Wrap Up – St. Louis, MO
This day is always pretty moving for me. We generally start out with Social taking care of the tour awards, secret pal stuff, and tour books, these are a blank book that we all take time to sign before tour is over. After Social is done, Worship gets their last opportunity to serve the group. Lauren Cole gave some words of encouragement to the group, and returned a letter the worship committee had them write to themselves on the first day of tour. They also provided a memento in the form of a friendship bracelet for all to remember their journey.
Byron then leads us in a communion. This is very moving to me to watch the mentor to all, the family that started this dream that we all desire to be a part of. Bryon as always does a very warm and inviting invitation to all come to the table, and then his words of encouragement and thanks were worthy of the tears in the room. From there we had the group circle up thinking they were going to sing the benediction, but we surprised them with singing You Will Be Found while facing each other. BJ and Jackson found a creative way to share the solo, and Monica and Kendra signed the whole thing together. I would say for me as dad is was one of my most emotional moments on tour, as it was for the rest of the singers.
Day 14 – July 28, 2017 – St. Louis, MO
This was a pretty cool stop. Not only were we greeted by our very own sponsor Emily Howell (she was unable to attend the whole tour this year due to a Career Opportunity), but we were joined by some very eager Alumni. Bethel Lutheran Church is nestled in downtown St. Louis, or just on the outside of it. It was also next door to a track that was used in the 1912 Olympics.
The church is very beautiful, and gracious. We enjoyed a great meal of fried chicken, and all the fixn’s before we performed at 7:30PM. You could tell the singers were anxious to perform. For those of you that don’t know at this stop we generally share with singers all the plans for the next day, and the list of who will perform, or share their dialogue at Homecoming. Yes its a super hard choice, but it delivers one impactful performance for those that know that this is the last opportunity to deliver their part for the day. As usual with what the singers were doing, they were not to be denied their last shot of performing while on the road. Then off to host homes I am sure barely getting enough sleep with the eager anticipation of being HOME!!!
Very pretty church, and as usual Carol does an amazing job!
Day 13 – July 27, 2017 – Mt. Juliet, Tennessee
It is always nice to start your day right. That is with a depart time of 9AM, and a large space for New G to eat Breakfast. It was truly nice to be in the hotel so early. Lots of meetings done, swimming, and ordering in. While I know a few had a late night, there were almost all of them that were fast to sleep. Speaking of starting the day right, we watched the parent video that was sent our way on the bus this morning. That might have been the best video we have received to date. We encourage you to watch it above!!
Now off to a new contact, through a Barbershop relationship both Byron and Bemo have. This was an older church that had added onto their building and had a great center, and space for us to setup and perform in. The crowd was pretty electric, and it was a great turnout for a Thursday night. The singers poured their heart into it as well. Honestly this has been a tour full of great performances. Bemo has even stopped to tell them that could not remember when they maybe laid one down for the night due to the exhaustion of tour.
You can already begin to feel the energy of our journey as we approach home. We hope all have contacted the hotline and or Janet Alexander to get tickets. See you soon!
Day 12 – July 26, 2017 – Macon, Georgia
Up and running today from our Friends the Garrisons we left for our longest journey of tour. That’s right, we had a 7 hour drive time day not including any of the stops needed to make things run smooth on the bus. While it was a long day the singers had a blast. We caught up with some Disney Movies in the morning, took a small nap, then headed to our lunch stop. After lunch we had our annual bus Olympics. This year we retired our obstacle course, in favor a few new games that I thought turned out really great. From there we got our normal quiet time.
Then I think one of the best parts was we arrived at the hotel around 6PM, and let the singers order in, we had time to swim, and for those of you familiar with the process we had our meeting to review the available positons New G has to offer when we get home. This allows the singers to sign up to be an officer of the group, or a part of the Exec Committee. No pictures for today, but rest assured fun was had by all.
Be sure to get your homecoming tickets lined up. It is always a hectic day, and knowing were your assigned seat is and having your tickets prior always makes the day go pretty smooth. See you soon!!
Day 11 – July 25, 2017 – Ft. Myers, Florida
We got a great gift to start out the day. We started our day out with a bus call at 10AM. In case you did not read that right, I said we had a load time of 10AM. So after getting in after midnight from Disney this was AWESOME! The Singers got some great rest after a long fun filled day.
So let me give you a little backstory here. The hotel we stayed in was having some dignitaries coming to do a site visit. They wanted to set themselves a part and called Bemo to see if we would sing them a song. Bemo was more than happy to accommodate, so she shared our repertoire with them, and they said no to all of them. The wanted a specific song, Be Our Guest!. First he said no, he wasn’t sure it was something he could get done, then after some thought, he said YES! Here is the crazy thing, he taught the group the song on July 22, we used it as a plug for the church we were in that was setting up a showing of Beauty and the Beast as a musical for the church.
Now here is the fun part. Carol and Bemo set us as a Flash Mob esk way too not let the dignitaries know that we were there to sing. As soon as they entered B.J. and Chris got the song going, and off we went. It was 40 seconds of awe and amazement. No sooner than we finished it was load time, and we were off. What a cool memory for the hotel staff, and for us. In case you are wondering, yes there is video, no it’s not ready yet, but soon!!
Lastly we started our trek to Ft. Myers to meet up with the Garrison family (former Sponsors), and their amazing church. We sang here five years ago, and have pleasant memories of the Stain Glass windows that line the church. Such a pretty and inspiring place to perform, and great hosts!
Day 10 – July 24, 2017 – DISNEY WORLD!
Yes that is right, we went to Disney. We left the hotel at 8AM with the hope that we walked in the gate by 9AM. We rode the ferry over, and took our traditional picture up front. It was starting out as a very HOT and humid day. I think I felt sweat dripping from my legs. We could even see the humidity in the form of water dripping from the ceiling of the ferry.
Now with all of that said, it was a magical day. We had several singers say that this was their very first visit to this magical place on earth. What an amazing opportunity to see them as they experience the massive amounts of people, and the different cultures. All of that combined with their faces when they walk down main street to experience the first view of Cinderella’s Castle. The stories of the Characters they met, the rides the rode, and the Dole Whips that were happily consumed for ourselves, and our missing family members of Emily, Scott and Allie.
You can see at the end of the long 12 hour day with us waiting to depart that the heat was enough for most of them, they were all tired and tuckered out, but they had the time of their lives. What an awesome journey to watch, and a family to be with!!
Day 9 – July 23, 2017 – Orlando, Florida
Sounds like the singers had a blast at their host homes last night. Some got an opportunity to see some blessed homes, and what that looks like. It also sounded like some of the church members got some of the host families together for a New G Party since the kids got to go home with them to eat dinner instead of performing first.
We arrived at 7:15AM, and was warmed up pretty fast. Rev. Jenn said that we made the 8:30AM service rowdy, that she had never heard them that exuberant. We performed all three of their services, and man the singers did great. It also seemed like Allisen Hunter and Rev. Jenn had a personal connection too :-)! The church graciously provided us with lunch on our way out. After lunch we decided it would be fun to go to see what Disney Springs was all about, Chaun and Matt spent probably too much time in the Coke Shop while they were there.
Day 8 – July 22, 2017 – Orlando, Florida, and Cape Canaveral
As we got to our hotel last night we got there with more than enough time to spare to let the singers get their luggage off the bus, get their hotel key, and then rush right back to the bus. We were ready to be off to the fun in the sun beach. Well the short story is we had Hope, and well Hope left us for a bit, and we got Love. Truth be told we had enough of Love pretty quick, but it got us to our new destination the Kennedy Space Center. Just so you know this is where Love left us, but we got Hope back!
The singers had a lot more fun here than I had anticipated. Honestly it has gotten bigger, and lots of new stuff since I was back here as a singer. One of the singers called it a “Vintage” shirt, but it was Emily and I’s 2001 tour. You had the opportunity to watch an Imax in 3D, meet a real life astronaut, or even see the real life Shuttle Atlantis. From there we got out just as a storm was blowing in from our hot and humid day back to the bus just in time! We headed from their to our newest church to setup as we have a call time of 7:15AM, and 3 services. Each singer got a host home. We are looking forward to performing well for this host church, and some previous sponsors that gave 12 years of their life to New G!!
Day 7 – July 21, 2017 – Jacksonville, Florida
We started out our day with another opportunity to start at 9AM for a load out. Now I know most of you that have gone on tour know that most of the time those days are Rare. I think we have been blessed with those days more than I can remember on this trip. Thank Goodness, as I think Christian appreciates it more than anyone (Maybe Renee too).
Off to Jacksonville Florida, where the singers are most excited for the opportunity to go to the sunny beach, and experience the waves of the ocean. For us sponsors its about reminding them that the waves take you down shore from us, and waste deep is good enough for our comfort. It was fun, and all made it back safe with a few sand castles, or maybe even partially burring someone in the sand. I am sure most brought back more sand with them than what they really wanted, or imagined they would.
Day 6 – July 20, 2017 – Ft. Walton Beach, Florida
I have decided to let a Singer write this day, so you will have to let me know how she did!!
The call I have yet to send to my mom I’m sorry.
Hey mom! I hope everything is well at home. I’m sorry I haven’t called yet this tour, I’ve just been having too much fun. Today we woke up in Birmingham, Alabama still a little hung over from last night’s powerful performance (which you can catch live on our Facebook page @ngsingers). I woke up this morning and ate my usual hotel breakfast- half a waffle- found my bus partner and went to bus draw. I was a little tired this morning, but I powered through not sleeping by touching up on my bus surfing capabilities. For lunch, we had many options and I chose a Mexican restaurant. It’s weird- I haven’t had McDonald’s once on tour, but I have had fajitas for lunch. After lunch, I had an amazing nap with Florida rain as my lullaby. I was kindly awoken with amazing news- we were having a Walmart stop! This means, we get to stop at Walmart. Going to Walmart back home seems to be more of a chore than an adventure, but on tour- Walmart stops are almost as exciting as Disney itself. You can get fun surprises for your secret pal, grab some deodorant you forgot to pack, and maybe get your favorite drink. We can grab an extra surprise for our secret pal, the deodorant we forgot to pack and even pick up our favorite drink. After Walmart, we arrived at the church. The special thing about this church is that New G inspired them to build a Christian Life Center- basically a gym with a stage and a kitchen. One of the performance highlights was challenging Chris to play hymns that the congregation called out. I personally enjoyed being back at this church because I’m staying at the same host home I stayed at last time. We got a glimpse at the Gulf Coast and tomorrow we will be at the Atlantic Coast.
Much love mom!
Day 5 – July 19, 2017 – Birmingham, Alabama
Today was a pretty moving day. Not that any other day isn’t with New G. It is just that walking through the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and then singing on the same stage as Dr. Martin Luther King once spoke, and the historical bombing makes one think. What really moved me was a couple of things. First when talking to some of the singers about their experience in the Institute, some had tears in their eyes not believing how people were being treated. We had an emotional opportunity to sing Steal Away right in front of the Institute as well.
The next most impressive thing was we had a pretty light audience at the church. Some might think then the kids would offer an off night. Maybe not give as much on the stage as they would for an audience that would be packed to the roof. Not this group. Already impacted by the Institute, and being in the actual 16th Street Baptist Church they gave their most emotional, and impactful performance yet. Best of all if you missed it, it was a live feed from their to our Facebook page, so you really should go and check it out. Every year there is that one stop that you remember for the rest of your life. While all stops are significant, there is just that one that you look back and say WOW. This might have been it!!
Day 4 – July 18, 2017 – Huntsville, Alabama
This turned out to be another travel day for us. However, on our way out of Scottsville, KY we were told about a cave rich in history, and was pretty massive. You might be able to tell that by the name of the National Park, Mammoth Cave. We found out that it was used to help make gun powder as it was rich in the necessary excrement from bats in the soil. We also learned that in the early days when they were exploring the cave that some learned the hard way on having enough sticks to get them out of the cave…that is enough sticks they could burn to light the way. Some perished due to not having any light in order to be able to exit. If you think about it, without the light of Christ in our lives in may be hard to find a way out of some situations we face in life.
While in the cave we sang a bit of Steal Away for the folks working the cave, and for some of the people there to visit. It always amazes me how many stop in awe of what we do, and how many people we impact simply by singing in a super cool, and memorable space. One for the memory books for sure! There are a few pics in this one for one of the Social dress up days too!
Day 3 – July 17, 2017 – Scottsville, Kentucky (with a Surprise Stop)
We got a great opportunity at a hotel last night, not only was it commercial for all, but load out and departure was 9AM. So that meant some extra sleep. As we rolled out of Evansville, we decided to make a small detour to a pretty awesome space that is worth the time. As a matter of fact Matt and Emily remember when they were singers visiting here. That’s right, we stopped at the Louisville Slugger Bat Factory. We got to hold an Eric Hosmer bat, and hold a KC Royals World Series Bat, as well as Chicago Cubs. At the end of the tour, showing us how they make the bats, they gave all of us our very own small bat to take home!!
From there we were off to our next stop and performance, Scottsville Baptist Church. What a warm welcoming crowd. The music Minister Ken Vinsion is a new relationship for us from one of our local church leaders. He was in love with our program, and so was the crowd. What a beautiful church, and after a great greenroom we were off to another great performance from the singers!! They just keep getting better.
Day 2 – July 16, 2017 – Evansville, Indiana
Day 1 – July 15, 2017 – Chatham, Illinois
I say it every year — it is so great to start tour the way we do. I love seeing all the families get together, and the past alumni come with their kids getting on a tour bus. What fond memories we all share of tours past, and what this tour will be. It started with the singers doing a great job getting the buses and the truck loaded. They followed with a memorable worship service upstairs with lots of firsts. Rev. Doug Walter from Ashland UMC performed his first send off of the New Generation Singers, and we had a heart warming send off speaker from Kaleb Johnson. Yes, in case you missed it, he made most of us cry, but this is from many years of great service and great memories of the group. From there to our great group picture, and then we were off with the famous Byron Whistle we have all heard to “load ’em up”!!
We arrived at a very gracious and laid back church at Chatham UMC, and were greeted by Rev Sarah. They were very excited to see us, and the audience was more than awesome. We got some tasty home-cooked food, and then we were ready for our first show. The singers did a great job and performed well. We decided to do our Informal set for this evening, to leave something for the families to see on Sunday morning. Now we are off to bed to enjoy some rest so we can be ready for the Morning service tomorrow. Hope you enjoy the pics!!