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Durham, North Carolina

And so we arrive at the end of our trip – only two concerts left, here at Duke University and on Sunday at Spivey Hall down in Morrow, Georgia. It’s been a great trip, and one of my personal highlights was last night’s concert at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN.

The influence of Britain has always loomed large in the US, and yesterday we felt particularly close to home in the surroundings of a very English-looking chapel and campus, clearly paying homage to our alma mater in Cambridge. Performing our Pater Noster sequence added to the illusion, so at times I felt I was back home rather than 4,000 miles away! It was good to catch up with some close friends, too.

Pater Noster has been one of our favourite and most successful programmes of recent years. The idea is simply that we sing music that reflects on the various lines within The Lord’s Prayer, interspersing plainsong lines with settings of the Prayer (in several languages) and following these settings with texts that relate to the preceding verse. So, “give us this day our daily bread” is followed by a traditional Latin grace, “Oculi omnium” in a setting by Bob Chilcott. We recorded the programme live in Nashville a few years ago, for Naxos Records, and it’s well worth a listen.

The last two concerts are a strong way to finish: Pater Noster her at Duke tomorrow, and our Postcards programme in the wonderful surroundings of Spivey Hall – surely one of the finest chamber venues in the US. Excitement builds at the end of every long trip, when we realise that we can soon return home and can relax into the final few concerts, and there’s a real sense of satisfaction at another tour well-performed and well-attended.

On this trip, we’ve done a “soft launch” of our inaugural US Summer School, to take place in June 2017. We already have a good number of expressions of interest, so if you’re a budding ensemble singer do have a look on our website and check out the details. Whether you’re part of an existing group who may like to attend, or an individual looking for some musical fellowship with the KS for a week, it’s a hugely exciting event – so do join us!

 
 
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