The north-east of the US has to be one of the most beautiful areas on the face of the planet, and it’s a real pleasure to be back here in Middlebury for the first date of our GOLD anniversary tour! OK, so it’s not quite 2018 yet, but it seems fair to start a little early and allow as many people as possible to hear the new programmes. And, of course, to offer our new recordings and publications for sale… ;)
My former colleague Robin’s wife studied at Middlebury College, and I believe Robin toured here when he was a student at King’s, so there are old links between us and this wonderful small town nestling in the northern reaches of Vermont. Here there is no Hilton, no Marriott and no Holiday Inn, so we stay at a charming B&B that offers us the comforts of home together with some rather wonderful cooking. Yes, I’m talking about food again – and why not? It’s hard enough to eat well on tour, so these few days are an oasis of satisfaction.
As we strike out once again across the US, I’m reminded that we have four tours here before the end of 2018 – some 50 performances. The group’s North American career really took off in the 1980s when Johnny Carson (he of Tonight Show fame) decided he really liked what the KS did, and invited us onto his show many times over. We were already touring here, but following that exposure the group’s career exploded, and we’re going from strength to strength.
More and more, our concerts are connected to educational sessions here in the US, and we think of ourselves increasingly as educators and animateurs as well as performers. Now in my 15th season with the KS, the job has flipped onto its head in terms of how we divide our time, with a lot more administration and education than ever there was, but the satisfaction in being fully invested in the organisation is equally greater than ever before. The education, in particular, has opened up a whole new avenue of outreach that allows us to connect with singers young and old alike, to further our message that everyone has a voice and should use it as much as possible!
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