Getting used to the the 3pm starts now. It’s nice to have the morning to just chill out and relax before the afternoon and evening committments. Today we had an open rehearsal and so members of a local retirement home enjoyed coming in to listen to us being put through our paces by Dr Darlington. It’s an interesting experience having an open rehearsal because it needs to run as ‘normal’ as possible even though there’s a slight performance element to it. Still, a valuable experience and it highlighted the things that needed a bit more work. A few rusty moments but ones that we felt would be sorted out come concert time.
For dinner, spaghetti and meatballs were carefully eaten by the boys so as to not colour in their lovely white shirts! No disasters so matron, aka choir mum, was happy!
We began the programme with Lassus’ De Profundis. Then Mr Driskill-Smith played the Fantasia in G minor BWV542. He played this difficult piece beautifully on a particularly awkard organ, as only Clive can! This was followed by the Kyrie “le Roy” by Taverner and Ave Maria by Parsons. Clive then completed his performance with the corresponding Fugue. It was a sublime performance. The first half was rounded off with the ‘fan favourite’, Allegri’s Miserere.
After the drinks break we began with something entirely different: Maxwell Davies wrote Jesus Autem Hodie in 1962 and it depicts the baptism of Christ in a mesmerising way. The ‘other’ Tavener wrote the Orthodox Mass, from which our next piece came, for Christ Church. The Lord’s Prayer is a haunting setting of this text. To close off this bracket we sang The Lord Is My Shepherd by Berkeley. This featured our fantastic treble soloist, Jonny Laxton, who gave a great performance. Michael Heighway then played his Buxtehude before we sang our final bracket of Britten’s Te Deum in C, Goodall’s Veni Sancte Spiritus and Walton’s Jubilate, which was an exciting way to finish the concert. The audience gave us another standing ovation and it was nice to speak to some of them afterwards.
Tomorrow’s a travel day with a seven-hour bus journey to look forward to…However, the sights and sounds of Washington DC await us, which I know everyone is excited about.