Thanksgiving Will Always Mean LMEA All State To Me
A few days ago, I had to pop over to pick up my sister at the annual LMEA (Louisiana Music Educator's Association) Conference to take her to the airport in New Orleans. When I got to the hotel and entered the lobby filled with music geeks, I was hit with such a wave of nostalgia.
See, LMEA's yearly gathering is also the gathering of high school students who, after a few rounds of auditions, have been selected for All State Choir, Band and Orchestra. And in my junior and senior years of high school, I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in All State Choir.
That meant several days of gathering with choir members from other schools all across the state of Louisiana. We rehearsed diligently without much in the way of social activity but somehow we managed to make one another's acquaintances.
Flashback to 1974. LMEA was in Monroe that year but the choir rehearsed at Louisiana Tech (and housed at the infamous Holiday Inn in Ruston). I met a boy - a bass from Pineville who looked just like John Denver - and it was true love... at least for the week. His opening gambit: you must be Sioux because you look like an Indian princess.
The concert was in Monroe so they bussed us there. Imagine a bunch of choir nerds singing along to the radio: Back Home Again, You Ain’t See Nothin’ Yet, Laughter in the Rain and an “oldie,” Smile A Little Smile For Me. On the “Rosemarie” part the boy would lean in close and sing “Ca-a-thy.”
Corny but sweet. Thanksgiving week always makes me think of All-State.
The boy in this story and I wrote letters until springtime. When we were reunited at Governor's Honor Choir at USL in June, he totally blew me off. I do occasionally wonder what happened to him.