The choristers began their concert day with a trip uptown to the Ontario Science Centre. This afforded the chance to test their wits against six floors of interactive exhibits, although they were very sad to find that the shop had closed. Better than any shop was the small pile of frozen snow found outside when we exited, which immediately lured the boys in to throw, kick and sculpt. There wasn’t much of it left by the time they finished but there was time for a few selfies before it disappeared.
We battled the Sunday dim sum crowd and managed to secure tables at a nearby Chinese restaurant for lunch. Wave after wave of enticing food appeared (there were even vegetables), which was just the right thing to energise the choristers before the final rehearsal of the tour at 3pm. As with Davidson we have visited Grace Church before (2011 and 2014) and have good musical friends here. It was a delight to be joined for part of the programme by the excellent church choirs, who sounded in very fine voice when we heard them rehearsing this morning. It was a bittersweet experience to share supper with them… we have enjoyed many delicious meals as church guests over the past two weeks, and this will be our last.
There was just time for some basketball in the gym under the church (why isn’t there one of these under the cathedral at home?) before the choir’s final performance. This went down a storm to a packed church, who were even kind enough to cheer as the choir came on for the second half – what a great welcome we have had here! We are delighted that the choirs at Grace are coming to sing at Christ Church in August, and look forward to welcoming them to Oxford. Huge thanks go to Rob, Stephen and the hosts for making the final leg of the tour work so well for us.
As we all departed snow was falling thickly. If this continues through the night we may end up with drifts so deep that not even a chorister can kick through them. It could be an interesting final day!