Day 2: Why do the (United) Nations so furiously rage together?

Our first full day in New York began, as all the best days do, with a hearty breakfast. We ate at a charming little place near our accommodation on the Upper East Side, where one was charged according to the weight of one’s plate – this was particularly unfortunate as one of the available options was the heaviest slices of French toast we had ever seen. Revitalised, some of us set off for a walk through Central Park (one of the most central parks I have ever been in), while others visited Ground Zero, the High Line, and Little Italy. The below video should give you a rough idea of the day’s events (a lot of walking around mainly).

Later on that day, some of us were fortunate enough to be able to visit the United Nations Building – bass choral scholar Noel Li (who seemingly has friends in every city in the world) had kindly arranged for us to be given a tour with a family friend, for which we were all exceptionally grateful. We of course couldn’t let such a marvellous photo opportunity pass us by – as you can see, some of us look a little more statesmanlike than others.

All too soon it was time for our first rehearsal of the tour. We dusted off our voice boxes and proceeded to St Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, where we will be performing tomorrow night for Stephen to rehearse the items we would be performing that evening at a dinner at the Harvard Club. We then returned to our accommodation to dress for dinner; your correspondent had an unfortunate mishap whereby he could not find his bow tie, messaged the choir WhatsApp to ask if anyone had a spare one, and then burst uninvited into bass lay clerk Thomas Lowen’s room only to be told he was in fact already wearing it. I can only put this down to jet-lag; I have since been eating as many carbohydrates as possible in order to rid myself of it.

The evening’s performance was a great success; we were given a warm welcome by the American Friends of Christ Church and had an excellent dinner with them. The lay clerks were in fact so encouraged by the enthusiastic applause at the end of their close harmony set that we performed (for better or for worse) an encore, but fortunately this was equally well received. In all – a very productive day!

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