Saturday 29 September 2018
Yesterday, Friday (28/9/18) was a rest day for the choir. We had our usual rehearsal first thing but then were free to explore the delights of York. I have had the pleasure of having been here a few times before so didn’t feel the need to exert myself in sight-seeing. My main priorities remain (1) learning the music and words for the big concert at the Royal Albert in two weeks (!!) and (2) keeping my voice free of the bugs and coughs and nasties that are floating around the choir.
I did however wander up to the street named ‘Shambles.’ It is said that this street was the inspiration for ‘Diagon Alley’ in the Harry Potter movies and having a few of my family who are very keen H.P fans (fanatics!) – it was a must-see. Our guest Soprano Ayşe invited a few of us to join her for dinner and a lovely night was had by all – especially at the local pub where we had a night cap at the end of the night. Ayşe is not shy and made friends with the rather large bulldog in the pub and then proceeded to set him off barking (nicely of course) by breaking-out in song!
Saturday was an early start for several of the choir who wanted to watch the AFL Grand final between Collingwood and the West Coast Eagles. Up at 5am the game kicked off at 5.30am local time and the hotel kindly arranged for us to have the main lounge area. I was keen for Collingwood to win, not for any love of the ‘pies’ but because our musical director Tom is a mad keen supporter of them. I figured that if Collingwood lost then Tom would be grumpier than usual and a grumpy MD is not what a choir wants! It was an exciting game and after a promising start by the Pies it came down to less than a goal at the end. To be fair to Tom he seemed gracious after his team lost and didn’t say a word about it for the rest of the day.
We had our fourth concert on tour tonight, combining with the York Philharmonic Male Voice Choir. We didn’t know till later that they are an award-winning choir and after hearing them and singing with them we know why! They were superb with a rich deep sound and under wonderful control by their energetic conductor. It was delight for us to be part of the night. We felt this was our best performance yet of the tour. Not perfect by any means but an improvement on what has gone before thus far. The daily rehearsals and the stern warnings from Tom that we need to listen more closely to each other seem to be working. It was a twenty-five walk back from the venue to our hotel – the venue for the traditional ‘after-glow’ – and we were ready for a song or two and a pint or two. I must say that thus far – this has been one of the best concerts I have been involved in over my three overseas tours with the choir. Another great day on tour with the AWMC!