Some of the choir went down to the falls this morning. Others of us slept in. It was another pleasant day and the short journey to Toronto was welcomed. Upon arrival at the Grace Church on-the-Hill, we unpacked our stuff and chilled out for over an hour. The foosball table became a popular way to pass the time. Tim Hawken certainly excelled as the ‘king of the table’. I’m pretty sure he ended the day as the undisputed heavyweight of table football!
Everyone was feeling relaxed going into the concert as we had sung the repertoire already and had performed it well. It was just a matter of getting used to the new acoustic. As it turned out, it was a favourable one in that it offered a little bit to the singers and was easy to hear ourselves and the ensemble.
In the concert we were joined by the men and boys of Grace Church on-the-Hill for a rousing rendition of Balfour Gardiner’s Te Lucis and Walton’s Jubilate. The rest of the concert programme was just like that of New York. The difference being that this time the Canadian audience were even more fantastic! After their standing ovation they were treated to two encores: Ave Maria by Parsons and Somewhere over the rainbow. Everyone in the choir who I spoke to about the concert said that it was our best performance and best audience. We all just stepped up and gave it one last really good effort which was hugely satisfying to be part of from a musician’s point of view. What a way to finish the tour – a real high!
The reception was great – Trickey couldn’t get enough of the Brie and Greg Skidmore enjoyed talking to his Canadian fan club!
It’s a been a tour full of highs and only a handful of lows. We’ve had a lot of fun and there’s been a fantastic vibe about the place. The organists have been impressive at adapting to the different instruments; Clive, Matron and Miss Biddell have organised the boys left, right and centre and have been a fabulous team; the boys have sung better and better throughout the trip and the gents have been the epitomy of solidarity! Last, but by no means least, Dr Darlington has been at his superlative best, leading from the front with good humour and patience.
Tomorrow we’re heading to the CN Tower and then setting off to the airport at 3pm.
I know people are keen to head home and see loved ones and just get back into their own bed. In saying that, I can’t remember the last time I stayed in such a series of amazing houses! Every host has been incredible and a massive thank you to each host city and those who have made this trip possible. We’ll be reminscing during our tea breaks for months! Hope you’ve enjoyed reading these blogs and thanks for supporting the tour. Till next time, cheers!
Today was not as entertaining as some of the other days due to the length of the bus trip from Boston to Niagara. However, the one exciting thing that happened at each stop was the race to log onto the available WiFi! I’ve never seen people so reluctant to leave the bus and eager to stay off it – facebook, emailing and general surfing the Internet made up for the time in between toilet breaks!
Kicking and Screaming, Chicken Little and Shrek helped out as well. The patches of ice and snow when we drove through the Berkshires were slightly foreboding despite the sunshine. However, upon arrival at Niagara it wasn’t too cold and there was enough light to take some pictures of the falls. We then headed to Betty’s Restaurant for a buffet dinner before going back to the hotel to settle in for the night. It was a great relief to finally hit the hay – amazing how tiring sitting in a bus all day can be!
The boys began their day with an early start and sang at the assembly of a local school. Meanwhile, the gents slept in and rocked on up about 11.30…well, most of us…It took about 80mins to get to the WGBH Studios and after a quick sound check we were ‘on air’. It was a really interesting experience and in between pieces Dr Darlington, Josh, ‘I want to be a Policeman’, Hirst and Tom Bennett were interviewed by the radio host Cathy Fuller.
We headed up to the Trinity Church, Copley Square, to have an early dinner in the undercroft before rehearsing in the choir stalls. It was a challenging building to sing in due to the distance between the stalls. However, the packed Evensong congregation actually improved the acoustic. The service music was:
Introit – Christe Jesu, pastor bone (Taverner)
Responses – Clucas
Canticles – Chichester Service (Walton)
Anthems – Salvator mundi (Tallis), Justorum animae (Stanford)
We were joined by several boy choirs from Boston for the Stanford. Afterwards we hopped back on the bus to the Green’s house in Marblehead for some delicious shepherd’s pie and refreshments, which went down a treat. No one is really looking forward to the eleven hour bus journey tomorrow but I’m going home to my hosts to watch Man Utd vs Chelsea!