2012 Tour

2012 Tour - Florissant
2012 Tour - FlorissantJul 27, 2012Photos: 16
 
And it’s over – Tour 2012 is now complete after another successful Homecoming performance.

But let’s back up just a bit. Here are some pictures from the Florissant performance Friday night. It was another solid performance with a nice crowd on hand. In fact, there were several alums in the audience as well as family members of singers and sponsors. In fact, some of those alums housed Singers for the night and in the end, everyone was taken care of.

 

 

2012 Tour - Last Morning
2012 Tour - Last MorningJul 28, 2012Photos: 13
 
Saturday morning, everyone returned to the church for a final event – I don’t think it has an official name, so I’ve just been calling it the Final Morning; it included a few more announcements about Homecoming, social activities such as revealing Secret Pals and awards. Then each sponsor had the chance to address the group one more time with their thoughts about Tour – everyone had great comments to wrap things up. Next was a surprise to most – Joey Myers was inducted as a member of New G and the ripe old age of 12 (soon to be 13). To say it was emotional would be an understatement. One of the key things Melissa Stone mentioned in her induction was how valuable Joey had been to step into the role of drummer at the very last minute – I think he had two rehearsals as “the drummer” before Sing Outs started at the beginning of summer. After that, I was personally surprised to be inducted as an honorary member of New G – and I certainly feel honored. Thank you Byron, Phyllis and all of New G for that distinction.

 

 

2012 Homecoming - Arrival
2012 Homecoming - ArrivalJul 28, 2012Photos: 39
 
Since I had my car, I took off to get ready for Homecoming. The group had a leisurely 4 1/2 hour drive home; and from there the pictures basically tell the story. A very nice crowd of family, friends, alums, current Singers not able to go on tour and a few four-legged friends were on hand for the final arrival. Once again, the Homecoming committee of parents – organized by Janet Alexander – had setup a fun display including signs as the buses came up Leonard. Inside was a “brick wall” with pictures of all the Singers and sponsors, and featuring a huge mural of the words all the Singers had sent home about what tour means to them.

 

 

2012 Homecoming - Performance
2012 Homecoming - PerformanceJul 28, 2012Photos: 76
 
During unloading and setup, many of the parents had purchased sack lunches from Chaun’s Catering for the Singers. Then, after a final run through and sound check, the doors opened and Wyatt Park Baptist Church was nearly filled to capacity. The performance itself was as good as any on Tour and gave the home audience a chance to see how the New G had matured and grown as a group.

But Homecoming is more than just singing; New G also received a proclamation from the Mayor, Bill Faulkner, as well as an invitation from Rico McNeela to the joint performance between New G and the St Joseph Symphony this Christmas. Then before heading into the final Sermon in Song, several awards and special presentations were made.

After the performance, more hugs were shared and then many headed to the newly relocated Ground Round for one final meal together.

On behalf of New G, thanks to EVERYONE involved in Tour and Homecoming – as Bemo said somewhere on tour “what you do is important”.


Updated 7/27/12, The Olympic cauldren was just lit!!

Another 6 hour drive today, but everything went well, in fact, we got to the church early and setup. That meant there was time to go through some house-keeping announcements and instructions for Homecoming as well as some final thoughts about the meaning of what the “kids” are doing. As Bemo said, “what you are doing is important, and a good thing”. Then there was time to fine tune a song or two, run through some informals and of course, EAT! The church put on a nice meal; and since the performance wasn’t until 7:30, it was all a leasurely pace.

After another rock-solid, emotional performance – with a nice audience on hand – everyone was sent off to their host homes. In fact, there were some family members and even New G alums in attendance that helped house Singers.

For my part (in case you aren’t aware, “I” am Scott, the web guy for ngsingers.com), I was dropped off in Louisville this morning to get my car from the parking lot of the airport (took me awhile to find it!) and joined back up with the group at lunch. As a result, there aren’t many pictures from today, but I’ll get some posted tomorrow – or so.

Tomorrow morning will involve a final worship service back at the Florissant church, which includes announcements of awards as well as sharing final secret pal gifts, who won’t be secret anymore. It will be a chance to put a bookend on the week before the grand finale – Homecoming! You don’t want to miss it!


 

Updated 7/26/12, a bit later!

2012 Tour - Lexington
2012 Tour - LexingtonJul 26, 2012Photos: 26
 
You can read the update below about the evening at the church in Lexington, here are the pictures. While the church was not able to find host homes for everyone, they did close the gap by paying for the necessary hotel rooms. In the meantime, one host took 12 of the guys – I’m betting on some great stories tomorrow.

 


Updated 7/26/12, 10:30 p.m.

Kingsport and more
Kingsport and moreJul 26, 2012Photos: 27
 
Yesterday was a 6+ hour drive, which is not a record by any means, but it’s nice to get off the bus. So we got to the church with JUST enough time to unload, setup, eat, change and start the performance – a well-oiled machine. The performance went very well, in fact there were several reports of tears on the risers and in the audience.

Then Thursday was a relatively short travel day to Lexington, Kentucky. So that gave us time to have a relaxed lunch and then a stop at Wal-Mart. The shopping stop gave everyone a chance to buy those final gifts for their secret pal, another tradition throughout tour. (Actually, the lunch stop would have been a little shorter except for a cranky computer at Pizza Hut when trying to check 0ut.) Oh well, it was a buffet!

We made it to Lexington in decent time to accept some new challenges. The church is a large physical facility but a small congregation. Turns out, this was once a thriving area of town, with many of the surrounding homes built just after World War II. Lately, the congregation has shrunk, businesses have closed or re-located, and the area has become a challenge. The church considers it an “under-served” area and is making great efforts to involve the community and bring them into the Church.

So how did that involve New G? Well, the church staff had a well-organized plan to send small groups of Singers down specific streets to hand out a flyer and invite them to New G’s free concert in the church parking lot. The idea was to draw people TO the church without the stress of walking IN to the church. Adults went with each group, and I can say that it challenged ME to get out and truly evangelize.  Several people came to the door and were very nice, others we just left the flyer.

Well, the only thing New G and the church had no control over was the weather – rain. The threat and eventual actual rain meant we needed to hold the concert inside the church, so rather than people coming to a free “parking lot” concert, they were invited to an air-conditioned, free concert. You’ll also notice in the soon-to-be posted pictures that we performed in one of our New G t-shirts. I’m typing this during the performance and it is not a huge audience, but that doesn’t lessen the value of the effort the kids put in to evangelizing to the neighborhood.


In case you haven’t seen this, you need to see this!

Updated: 7/25/2012, 1:00 p.m.

Not too much out-of-the ordinary activity lately. Yesterday was mainly a travel day getting from Orlando to Macon, Georgia. Macon gets about half-way to our performance tonight in Kingsport, Tennessee. Last night was Tour Worship, which is oftenthe emotional high of tour. With a slightly new format, everyone had a chance to share and pray with each other. Lives are changed by tour, and Tour Worship is often the peak of that change or the genesis of its start.

2012 Tour Misc 1
2012 Tour Misc 1Jul 25, 2012Photos: 18
 
This link leads to some miscellaneous pictures from the last day or two. No major events like a performance or Disney World, etc. But tonight is shaping up to be a big night – they had more volunteers than we needed to house the group, which probably means there will be a large crowd. Plus, the host families will be meeting their Singers as soon as we get there so they can eat dinner together. I also noticed on the church’s website that they have five service each Sunday in two different rooms – that hints (to me at least) that they are a large congregation. Stay tuned!

 

 

 


Updated: 7/23/2012, late evening (actually early Tuesday).

New G at Disney World
New G at Disney WorldJul 23, 2012Photos: 24
 

When we asked everyone on one of the buses “have you ever been to Disney World”, about 1/3 of the kids had never been, so this was another great experience for New G. Everyone seemed to have a great time. And that was despite the fact that it rained off-and-on all day. But most of the time, you’re waiting in line (or eating) under cover, so it’s really not a problem. It also seemed odd that many people would find cover while “we” just kept on walking. I think that comes, in part, from wishing it would rain more back home!. Also, we found it “humorous” to know that our high temp was about 90 while it was 101 back in St. Joe. Seems odd to go to Florida to find cooler weather!


Update: 7/22/2012, late evening.

St. Lukes United Methodist Church
St. Lukes United Methodist ChurchJul 22, 2012Photos: 12
 

Hello from sunny, and then rainy Orlando, Florida. I have caught up with New G as of this morning (the 22nd) and will be trying to keep you updated from here through Homecoming.

This morning involved three performances plus a “mini-concert” between two of the services at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Our hosts were Doug and Carolyn Dannon who in addition to being former St. Joseph residents, were New G sponsors for 12 years! It was a return trip dating back to 2007; and there may have been trips there even before 2007.

 

 

 

New G at the Beach
New G at the BeachJul 22, 2012Photos: 16
 

After picking up a sack lunch at the church and then checking into a hotel, New G headed out to the beach. It looked bleak for awhile as the rains came pouring down (I wonder if it followed me from Louisville?). But by the time we got to the beach, the rains had stopped (mostly) and it was a decent day. The waves were pretty strong, but that seemed to be a challenge for those who ventured that far into the water. The rest of us held back in the shallows or on “dry” land and watched.

Besides the picture albums above, be sure to check out our social media links. There are tons of updates and pictures available on Twitter and Facebook.

And here’s the schedule – click here!

New G has left the parking lot…

The New Generation Singers have left the building…and St. Joseph. Saturday morning, 72 singers, 13 sponsors and family, 3 truck drivers and support plus 2 bus drivers left on a two-week adventure, otherwise known simply as “Tour”.

One final group picture – there will be plenty more – as they prepared to board the buses.

As the buses pull out, it’s everyone’s last chance to wave goodbye.