Durham, UK

As I write, I’m on a train with Jules and Tim, speeding northwards from London King’s Cross to Durham, where we are giving a masterclass and concert today at the University and Cathedral respectively.

This train line, known as the East Coast Main Line, runs up the eastern side of the UK and finishes in Edinburgh. It goes through some wonderful towns and cities, and (on days less foggy than this one) boasts some spectacular views out to sea! The three of us are sitting quietly, headphones in, revising music and getting off-stage admin done. For all the convenience of flying, I find travelling by train is very civilised and comfortable!

I’m using the journey to write my announcement for this evening’s concert. Announcements are relatively new to me, because the new person normally has one term without doing any announcing, in order to acclimatise to the ‘house style’ before speaking from the stage. I really enjoy talking directly to the audience, and I also love the challenge of writing an announcement that conveys all the right information, in the right style, in the right length of time. Today’s task is introducing a set of 3 pieces by modern choral composers, so I’ve looked for things that link the three works together, and I’ve just spotted that they all set medieval texts, so I will use this as a thread when talking about them in sequence.

Once we’ve done this little trip up to Durham, we’ll be back to London, and will be continuing with the GOLD recording. It’s very nearly complete, and I can’t quite believe that only 5 months into the job, I’ll have recorded 3 discs of music for the group’s 50th anniversary. Talk about being ‘thrown in at the deep end’!


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