Duke University, Durham, South Carolina

A few weeks or so after our UK celebration concerts, and we’re in the US on tour. I’ve found myself thinking back to the performances in London and Cambridge and re-living the events. When people have asked, I’ve compared the experience to a wedding: you spend months and years planning it and it goes by in a flash! There were so many people to talk to on the day, I ended up having short bursts of conversation and then having to move on/be dragged away/get distracted by the next guest!

What struck me most was how special it was to have so many of the former KS present in the audience, and to get them up on-stage to receive applause. It’s always felt like a family, but the feeling was brought home by seeing all six of the founding members in the same room, for the first time in 30 years! They all got together for a lunch in London and I’ve seen the photographs – they look just as happy, cheeky and inspiring as they did 50 years ago. It’s inspired the current group all over again to continue our work in preserving the heritage of this wonderful institution and making it fit for the next half-century.

I wondered how it would be to go on an “ordinary” tour straight after the Cambridge performance but, in fact, it’s quickly become apparent that nothing about this year is going to be ordinary. The reception in the US and Canada has been even warmer than usual (if that’s possible) and everywhere we go we are congratulated on our anniversary. Looking ahead, the diary is jam-packed with the finest venues all the way until the end of December, and I have a feeling it’ll be a year that lives long in the memory.

Alongside all the pomp and circumstance that an anniversary can bring, it’s important not to get carried away and to realise that we need to use this opportunity to ensure that the group remains relevant and can help singer to get more from their own love of performing. We’re intending to highlight some of the people who we feel have made special contributions to choral music, over the course of the years. And we’re doing more masterclass work than ever before, to use the anniversary publicity to support choirs all across the world. If we can inspire more people to sing, this year will be even more of a success!


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