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Snowfall and singing

October 26, 2009 - Cindy Votruba
While it was nice and sunny here in Marshall on Friday, the weather was downright dismal as Ross and I, along with another couple, headed east toward Rochester for the annual Land of the Lakes barbershop district contest. I was marveling at the pretty leaf colors along the way, as the sprinkling of rain turned to pouring which eventually became sloppy snowfall. About 15 to 20 miles outside of Rochester, it was nasty. The roads were slushy and snowcovered and a few cars ended up in the ditch. Friday night was quartet preliminaries and Saturday was the chorus competitions. Groups from Wisconsin, North Dakota and Minnesota competed. I only got to see half of the prelims, but what I heard was really good. One of the frontrunners was a young group called Expedition (which eventually won on Saturday). The quartet based out of Willmar, Sound Image, ended up placing fourth that weekend.

Chorus competition was long Saturday. and I’ll admit my butt was sore after sitting for more than three hours. Only a few choruses went for presentation that made them stand out. The chorus from La Crosse dressed like farmers, a group from Minneapolis looked like hoboes. And every year, the chorus from Glendale follows a theme of sorts. Last year, it dressed like the penguins from “Happy Feet.” This year, they started with Casino Royal and then did a play on “Austin Powers,” with Dr. Evil trying to eliminate the baritones. That group took second in the district. It has been district champions several times. By Saturday, the snow had melted. It was even warm enough to go outside without a coat. Hard to believe how messy it was one day, and nice and sunny the next.

Now the Kahler Grand Hotel, where we stayed, is near the Mayo and there’s also plenty of shopping and restaurants. We had gelatos at this chocolate place in the mall, browsed the Barnes and Noble, I checked out a Chico’s and we hunted for this Rodin statue in one of the Mayo buildings. Not only did I hear great singing, but I got to see a piece of art by a well-known sculptor.


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