Elias Jarvinen ’19
This past Thursday the Woodberry Forest Dozen embarked on a journey to perform off campus for the first time in many years. We were to perform at a Woodberry event held in New YorkCity. It was attended by several board members and Woodberry alumni, including the familiar faces of some of the more recent graduates.We began the day normally going to our first period Dozen class, but then mixed things up a little by performing for the student body during the Thursday morning assembly. The performance was brief and was meant to give a little preview of what we would later be singing in New York. It was also the first time performing for the student body this school year. The Dozen left campus before lunch and headed to Union Station in DC. We began our three-hour train ride, a very enjoyable experience as several Dozen members had never taken the train before. Along the way we sang several songs. In Union Station we performed in the cavernous lobby, and we sang once again at the request of some passengers while waiting for the train. Then on train we sang twice, once at the request of our conductor, and again for the staff in the café car.
We arrived in New York in the late afternoon, and we walked several blocks to our hotel in Times Square. New York was very busy as usual, and many of us were in awe to be in the Big Apple, as for some it was the first time. We got to our hotel and then quickly left for The Century Association where we would be singing. We walked through Times Square taking in the scene with its hundreds of billboards and even bigger number of tourists. Upon arriving at the event, we warmed up in a room with some phenomenal acoustics, and then we entered the performance space. It was a marble room filled with members of the Woodberry community as well as several works of art. We listened to a brief speech given by Dr. Hulsey and then we performed. We sang several pieces beginning with the Woodberry Fight Song, and then following it up with Only One. Our next set was Desperado and Thinking Out Loud, the latter being an arrangement by our very own Richard Yang and Edward Sackey. We finished off with Shenandoah and Amici, and Mr. Hornady invited up five former members of the Dozen who were in the audience. It was great to sing with some of our Dozen alums, and overall the performance was very well-received by our audience. We mingled with them after and got to meet some interesting people in the Woodberry community.
Afterward we left to go eat at a great restaurant called the Hourglass Tavern. They had great pasta, steaks, and sliders of all varieties. We had a good time watching the Duke v. Carolina game as well, and we finished by singing for the waiting staff before we were let go to explore the city. Most of us chose to go to Times Square again where we happened to run into Mr. Bondurant, who was quite surprised to see us. After a great evening we returned to the hotel and watched some exhilarating Olympic curling before going to bed. The next morning, we ate breakfast while some of us chose to go see various New York locales such as Radio City. We left the city the same way we came and had a very sleepy train ride. Overall the trip was very exciting, and it gave us a unique change to our normal Woodberry scenery and routine. We are glad to have gone on this excursion, and we all hope that it starts a new tradition of performing off campus more often as a group.