(Copyright 1997. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

 June 23, 1997

Weather, crowds don't faze BEHS band, chorus in Virgnia

Tattoo Staff Writers

Two years ago, a departing senior at Bristol
Eastern High School began his yearbook quote
with, "Remember the band and trips..."
This year, the band and chorus embarked together
on another concert tour in Virginia and made
more memories.

This is the second consecutive year that the
band and chorus have toured together rather than
separately, implying four days of shuffling
around about 150 high school musicians.

The group arrived in Williamsburg well past
midnight, providing for limited sleeping time
before being whisked away to an early-morning
performance at the Wilsingham Academy, a
relatively small private Catholic school which
does not have an instrumental music department
itself, to the surprise of several Eastern

The apparent favorites of the Wilsingham
students were the Strawberry Fields show choir
and the Blue Jazz Band, whom many Wilsinghamites
lingered to watch after they were supposed to
leave the auditorium.

Choral director Ken Ferris later received e-mail
from the academy telling how impressed they were
and welcoming the group back anytime.

From the academy, the music department bused to
Colonial Williamsburg, where they spent the
afternoon touring the historical site as the
temperature climbed uncomfortably. The evening
had in store for the group a boat tour featuring
a dance, despite cold pizza and an oft-
dysfunctional sound system.

The following day was spent at the Busch Gardens
Theme Park. Unfortunately, it rained throughout
most of the day. Easterners battled the crowds
generated by the opening of a new roller coaster
the previous day.

"I rode all the roller coasters at Busch
Gardens," said Ferris proudly. "I did really
well on the 'Loch Ness Monster.'"
The soaked students were then shuttled to a
movie in the evening.

The following morning, following the established
tradition, the Concert Choir sang at a local
church. The Blue and Gray Jazz Band then played
a performance at the Patrick Henry Mall.

Ferris mentioned that people who had attended
the morning church service were so impressed
that they turned out for the jazz bandrquote s
lunchtime performance.

From the mall, the group set off for Connecticut
again. Arriving in Bristol, again close to
midnight. Despite exhaustion, all students were
told to attend in order to maintain the trip's
good reputation. 

"I'm still trying to catch up on sleep," said
freshman Hayley Varhol, days after returning.

"Dipping Dots" should come to Bristol, said
junior Melanie Grandy, in reference to a frozen
beaded treat students found at the local mall
where the Jazz Band performed.

"Musically, I thought the kids did really well,
and did everything I expected," said band
director Richard Theriault.

Ferris added that Strawberry Fields did a
"superb job," the Concert Band played
"exceptionally well," and the jazz bands sounded

"We represented the school very well," said

(Note: This story is a more complete version of the one that appeared in print, which had to be trimmed due to space limitations.)