Naomi Barker – Chamber Singers Member
While the time we have spent in the cities of Moscow and Vladimir have been exciting and enrapturing, the bulk of the time we have spent together has been in transit. From the bus to Dulles, to the nine-hour flight and the subsequent several coach rides that have taken place since—including the trip out to Vladimir, totaling 9 hours on the bus—the chamber singers have spent seemingly innumerable hours in each other’s company.
For some groups, this would be the catalyst of conflict. Too many hours in cramped quarters have the potential to make tensions rise and put everyone on edge. Us though? We relish in it. The books that we brought with us to keep ourselves entertained are stuffed under our seats, unopened. The headphones that we considered staples to surviving travel were only used to listen to recordings of yesterday’s concert.
Even while several singers doze against bus windows, the sounds of games and constant banter can be heard at any moment. The conversations range from the lighthearted to the personal to the utterly outrageous, but somehow always feel appropriate in that moment.
Russia is a novel trip for several reasons, and the immense amount of time spent in transit is by no means an insignificant part. Maybe I’m just sentimental, but I consider it a testament to our collective character that we not only take such hours in stride but manage to make them an integral part of our tour experience. So bring on that nineteen-hour trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway—I’m sure it will be an interesting ride.