Day 4: An Impromptu Concert, May 28

An Impromptu Concert, by Reid McLean Wiest

A funny and unplanned event of our Canada trip happened during our return travel from Hollow Waters reserve. We had rented three SUVs for the week in Winnipeg (not the original plan, but came as a complementary upgrade after a long wait at the airport), which made us look like a mafia or secret service group when our caravan traveled together.


After more than four hours driving that day alone, we needed to refuel the vehicles. We stopped at an Esso visible from the highway. We soon found out we were fortunate to see it at all, as we arrived 5 minutes before closing time! As we all got out of the cars, one of the gasoline attendants noticed that many of us were wearing the same logo-imprinted jackets and asked the usual question: “Are you guys all in some kind of sports group?”

I replied that we were a singing group, a choir that mostly sang a cappella. This gas station guy’s response was unexpected: “Are you kidding? That’s awesome! Have you seen the movie ‘Pitch Perfect’? It’s, like, my favourite movie! Ever since I saw it, I’m totally into a cappella music!” (For those of you who may not have seen the movie, it was a low-budget 2012 feature film about a cappella clubs on a U.S. college campus. Kind of like a more crass version of the TV show “Glee”, but where the music was all a cappella.)

HtH singing "Give Me Your Eyes" in the gas station

HtH singing “Give Me Your Eyes” in the gas station


Sounded like an invitation to put on an impromptu concert! So after we paid for the gas and a whole bunch of convenience store snacks for the road, HtH sang for the three gas station attendants working that night. And while the music that HtH sings would likely not be heard on somewhat racy shows like Pitch Perfect or Glee, our concert at the gas station was definitely well received! It highlighted some of the advantages of a cappella music – it’s portable, needs no special setup, and can make someone’s night!

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