New York from an Oklahoman’s Perspective part 3

Senior Maren Howard recalls her trip to the Big Apple with the HCP Choir in March


Joe Hughes

HCP choir in the waiting room for the Heart of America Choral Festival

Maren Howard, Reporter

Day three of the trip was both exciting and discouraging.  

Saturday, March 25 began with singing with the HCP choir at the Heart of America Choral Festival. We were one of only three concert choirs. Everyone else was in show choirs. Singing in this resembled other contest except this one had cameras and a lot more lights.  

The process was the same though. We went into a room to wait for our turn. We went into the practice room where we warmed up and ran through our songs. Then we went onstage and performed.  

After we performed, I watched a show choir perform and they were amazing. I had never seen a high school show choir before, and it looked fun to be a part of. 

After watching the show choir, we had a few hours to kill before the awards assembly for the Heart of America Choral Festival.  

I walked to Central Park with Kristi Brown, Kaden Griswold, Ian Walker and Thomas Etherington. Others followed us too but that was my group of people for the day. Sadly, it was cold and rainy, so it made walking around miserable, but that was not the worst part of that day.  

The little chunk of Central Park that I saw was nice. If it were a nicer day, I could see myself having a picnic on one of the hills with friends.  

Brown suggested that we have New York style pizza for lunch. Another suggested that we go to Chinatown to get lunch since it smelled so good yesterday. My group voted and going to Chinatown for lunch won.  

My group headed down into the subway suddenly realizing we had no idea how to get to Chinatown. Google Maps was not helping and so Walker ended up asking a stranger how to get to Chinatown. The stranger was a nice local lady and helped us get there. We were able to follow her most of the way until she had to take another subway but told us how to get there.  

Once we made it to Chinatown, I was overwhelmed by all the options for food. We walked into this hot pot place. It was buffet style but the waitstaff brought food to the tables instead of guests getting food themselves.  

I looked at the menu and panicked. The cost for just one person was close to $40! Our lunch budget was only $20. Brown said that we could leave since they had not brought us anything nor had we ordered. I was too scared to voice my opinion of wanting to leave because I was still overwhelmed.  

We ended up staying and Brown did not eat. It was a huge mistake because the food was not great for its price and the four of us teenagers had to split a bill of about $190 with a tip.  

We were discouraged and went back to the hotel to wait for the awards ceremony part of the Heart of America Choral Festival. 

Things did get better though because at the awards assembly HCP choir won the runner up award for concert choirs. Etherington and I accepted the award on stage for our choir. The trophy was surprisingly heavy, and it was exciting to accept the award.  

That concluded the last full day in New York City, stay tuned for the final part which includes the last tour I went on and the journey home.