2018 Spring LC Magazine

THE RAT AND BLUEBIRD The Rat and the Bluebird are the longest- enduring totems of the Lycoming College Choir. These stuffed animals are awarded daily during tour for a noteworthy act (the Bluebird) or ill-advised blunder (the Rat). Every morning on the tour bus, nominations are taken and winners determined by applause. The Rat originated during the mid-1970s. Although it is not an award most people want to win, the good- humored Rat reminds choir members to not take mistakes too seriously. Case in point: the Rat is most frequently “earned” for breaking wind during a concert! Others have won the Rat for singing music incorrectly, forgetting tour apparel on the bus, falling off the risers, or even scarfing down one too many brownies at dinnertime. In the late 1980s, choir officers introduced a positive counterpart and the Bluebird was born. The Bluebird is often bestowed upon someone who performed an excellent solo at the previous evening’s concert. However, it can also be awarded for professionalism; one accompanist won for continuing to play without interruption even though the piano lamp had crashed onto the keys mid-song! And Pat Thayer’s homemade baked goods, shared on the bus, always earned her a win. The Rat and the Bluebird still travel with the Tour Choir today. They epitomize our choir’s long traditions and bonds of community. ◆ Jennica Musselman ’98 www.lycochoir.com L Y C O M I N G S Y M B O L S 27 www.lycoming.edu