Day 2: Washington and Alexandria

The choristers, fully committed to American-style breakfasts, began the day much as they ended yesterday: putting away piles of crispy bacon stacked on fluffy pancakes. After a short coach-ride we spent the morning at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, where the devices and gadgets on offer in the shop were so popular that the boys were soon staggering under the weight of bags full of meteorites,games and lasers.

We stopped for lunch at a well-known burger outlet in the museum, where the boys were impressed to find that ordering a cheeseburger meal gets you not one but TWO cheeseburgers – clearly one wouldn’t be enough to sustain a chorister. We took advantage of the glorious weather to walk down the National Mall, taking in the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the cherry blossom and everything in between (including some ice cream).

Refreshed by all this sunshine we headed back to Alexandria to get down to the serious business of why we’re really here: the first rehearsal in the seminary chapel, and a chance to test the acoustics and balance before tomorrow’s concert. Dr Darlington whisked the choir through Rossini, Grieg, Handel and Tallis, but it was very soon time for supper. There is a scurrilous rumour that the choristers consumed courgette, squash, aubergine and lettuce at this meal, and no bacon at all. They’ll have to make up for the omission at breakfast tomorrow.

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