Helpful Hints for Gathering Participants

If you’ve registered for our 2019 Threshold Choir Regional Gathering, we are so glad you’ll be joining us in Tucson for the weekend! You might have some questions simmering, so this post is intended to help provide some answers:

WHAT TO BRING: Tucson weather in mid-April tends to have highs in the upper 70’s or lower 80’s and lows about 50 degrees F. Temperatures in restaurants can vary widely too, so to stay comfortable throughout the day, plan to layer your clothing and bring a sweater, vest or shawl with you. Many folks who have registered are sensitive to fragrances, so please consider this as you pack. Bringing a small bottle of hand gel to use throughout the weekend would help immunosuppressed participants stay healthy too. Please bring a reusable water bottle, marked with your name.

If you feel moved to do so, we also invite you to bring something for our ‘Remembrance Table’. It could be a photo of a loved one, a quote, a small object, anything that would help you to feel grounded and present for the duration of the gathering. We invite you to place your item at the beginning of the gathering and to take it back at the end.


If you have an item that’s still wonderful and you’d be happy to release, not to return home with you, consider putting it on the ‘Treasure Table’ during the gathering, for somebody else to take with them and treasure. Items not retrieved by others will be donated to a local charity after the gathering. (Some of you may be familiar with this concept, involving small and easy to pack items like scarves, artwork, books, hats, jewelry or mementos.)

TRANSPORTATION: If you’ll be in town without a car and are staying at the Homewood Suites at St. Phillips Plaza, there will be a shuttle to get you to St. Francis in the Foothills for the gathering Friday and Sunday, but will be of limited to no value on Saturday. Since it is limited in availability and seats, we STRONGLY suggest carpooling to the gathering AND  coordinating rides to Southside Presbyterian on Saturday night for the Community Sing, or taking Lyft or Uber, as the Homewood Suites shuttle won’t cover the distance to Southside. (Their shuttle will leave every on the half hour from 7:30-10:30AM and then operates again at 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00PM. There is no service on the hotel shuttle during daytime hours after 10:30AM or after 7:00PM.) For those of you coming and going from the Phoenix airport, there are a couple of shuttle services to choose from online.

DINING: At St. Francis during the gathering, we’ll have tea, coffee and water always available, as well as various nibbles. The only meal provided will be Saturday lunch: buffet style, with options for vegetarians, vegans, dairy free, garlic-free and tofu-free food plans. A light a la carte brunch with nibbles will be offered Sunday morning. Those who prefer to bring their own food will be able to keep it in the church’s refrigerator, as long as your name is clearly marked on the items. There will not be food at the Community Sing Saturday evening, so in the email participants receive, there is an attachment about many dining options for Saturday dinner and other meals during your stay.

ENJOYING YOUR VISIT: At the information table we’ll have set up during the gathering, you’ll find a booklet with local restaurants, a bike and walking map of the downtown are highlighting many of the wonderful Tucson murals and a Tucson guidebook. They’ll be available for use while you’re here. We ask you to return any you don’t want to take home so we can return them for re-use to their source organizations.

If all of this leaves you wondering about something not listed, feel free to contact either Barbara Richardson or Kristine Bentz whose email addresses will be on the email you receive directing you to this post.

Thank you and see you soon!

Lodging Options for Gathering


Hooray! You’re coming to our 2019 gathering. For your planning purposes, we have reserved blocks of rooms at two very different hotels. In addition to these, there are many options to rent a home or room through Airbnb and VRBO.

These often cost less than the hotels listed below and could be the best option for those coming in groups. Be sure to check locations though, as Tucson extends many miles in the valley and we expect you’ll want to spend more time singing than driving!

The Homewood Suites by Hilton is located at St. Philips Plaza, only seven minutes drive from St. Francis in the Foothills Church, our primary gathering place. The hotel is a 20-30 minute drive to Southside Presbyterian Church (depending on traffic) where Saturday evening’s community sing will happen.

A free shuttle bus is available for guests from 7Am to 7PM, as long as the destination is within five miles. (The airport is not.) St. Francis in the Foothills is within five miles, as well as multiple shopping and restaurant or cafe options. The hotel offers a free hot breakfast and an evening social reception Monday through Thursday, should you decide to extend your visit. It is adjacent to St. Philips Plaza is an upscale area with small shops, a coffee shop and three restaurants as well as the Rillito River Trail, a 130+ mile walking and biking path around the city known as The Loop. Bike rentals are available at the Plaza and there is a lovely Artisans Market on Saturday and a Farmers Market on Sunday at the Plaza as well. Trader Joes Market is within walking distance.

Homewood Suite rates of $167.63 per night (this includes taxes and fees) will be honored until March 12, for reservations between April 10-16th. To reserve by phone call 520-577-0007 and mention the code TTC. You can also reserve online by entering TTC under “add special rate codes.”

Hotel McCoy is a completely different animal! This classic 1960’s motor hotel
reopened in September 2018. It has been completely renovated with a lighthearted, artsy, vintage vibe. Paintings by Tucson artists cover the walls, inside and out. Tucson is celebrated with local beers, coffee, and even parking spaces named for Tucsonans of note.

Community spaces include a pool, cedar sauna, game area with ping-pong, foosball and more. For breakfast, you’ll find a complementary oatmeal bar with toppings. Gathering participants may get a 15% discount by mentioning the code CHOIR 15.

Up for a pajama party? Three rooms in the hotel have two sets of bunk beds each. They are on hold for us until March 1st. Of course, you can find king and queen bed rooms as well. Some king rooms open into the bunk bed rooms if your group wants more space. The 15% discount is honored as long as rooms are available. Hotel McCoy is a five minute drive from Southside Presbyterian Church were the community sing will be held Saturday night and a 30 minute drive to our daytime gathering location at St. Francis. Downside? Finding places to walk and eat requires hopping back in your car or catching a ride via Uber or Lyft.