The choristers enjoyed some down-time this morning. The weather was rather gloomy, so we stayed indoors for a bloodthirsty session of Wink Murder after breakfast. The rain had stopped by mid-morning, so we made a dash to the Time Warner Center just around the corner. After some judicious browsing the boys ended up in the basement, where the free samples available in Whole Foods – specifically the ‘healthy candy’ – provided ideal entertainment.
We brought sandwiches back to the Choir School, and then set off on the increasingly familiar route to St Thomas Fifth Avenue. In Oxford just one road separates school and cathedral, and our choristers stop traffic four times a day when they process across for rehearsals. A fifteen-minute trek across bustling Manhattan streets is a much more athletic experience – and no-one stops the cars with a lollipop!
The choir worked hard throughout the afternoon to prepare for this evening’s performance. At 7.30pm the concert opened with soaring Renaissance polyphony, whilst the second half included thrilling accounts of Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’ and Walton’s ‘The Twelve’. Written for Christ Church Cathedral Choir in 1965, ‘The Twelve’ features a fiendish treble duet which was performed tonight with exquisite precision by two eleven-year-old choristers. Thunderous applause from a packed audience ensured that this was a very special evening indeed.
Tomorrow: we must pack and travel south…