Choir’s Connections through the Golden Gate City

On March 5th, 2022, Groton’s choir departed campus for a GEO in San Francisco. Those who went have a lot to say about it. Different choir members have described the trip as bonding, joyful, and rejuvenating. That trip is exactly what we needed after a long winter term. It allowed us to find joy through new experiences with each other, and become a better choir.

If there’s one thing the choir loves to do, it’s to sing. We sang our Episcopal repertoire at various churches in San Francisco, but most of our joy came from singing outside of those settings. No bus ride lacked the sounds of us screaming along to music blasting from James Ebert’s ’25 and Kit Knuppel’s ’24 speakers. Some spontaneous moments were our bus ride acapella rendition of “Uptown Funk,” Griffin Elliot’s ’22 impromptu performance at Berkeley, and singing “Ukuthula” at the Bayview mission. 

We enjoyed listening to music just as much as singing. Our minds were blown away by the all-male singing ensemble, Chanticleer, perform “Sunrise”. (They recently won a Grammy for their album Chanticleer Sings Christmas). We were enchanted by the sounds of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Music was all around us, but it was not our sole companion in the city.

We spent some time doing things unrelated to music, such as going on tours of the city–organized by our wonderful tour manager, Carter Sligh. We enjoyed popular places such as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Castro District, but we also appreciated simpler places, such as playgrounds and forests. There were no moments of boredom in San Francisco. We made our free time special through thrifting sprees, making Tom Swifties in the forest, shopping for pomelos, and having long conversations in the hotel hot tub. Together, we made the time spent in between events very enjoyable. 

Good food is essential for a great trip. San Francisco’s food did not disappoint. Our first lunch together was some delicious dim sum, and the food only got better. The Asian cuisine in the city is astounding; we were delighted by the meals we had in Chinatown and Japantown. Our meals never attempted to end without dessert. We always found some quality ice cream to complete our meals. The food was tasty, but it wasn’t the only good part of the meal. Eating was a way for us to bond as a group, especially inter-form. Our conversations while eating were always the best conversations.

Although the Groton populace thinks that our Zendaya sighting is the most memorable part of our trip, to us it was not. Seeing a famous actor from a distance could never to the connections we made with those around us. Through all of the music, sightseeing, food, and just plain fun, we were able to appreciate each other more than we did before. It allowed us to realize that hitting high notes and singing Bible verses doesn’t make us a good choir, but those experiences do.