Norfolk, VA, USA

Here we are on the last leg of our North American tour this Christmastide. As usual, it’s been a hugely enjoyable way to spend the weeks before our Christmas holiday, and delightful to meet so many fans and friends – both old and new – on the road.

Unusually, however, we’re driving around Virginia for the final few concerts. It’s quite a nice break from flying, to be honest, and ties in nicely with the gradual slowing down at the end of our longest term which stretches from the end of summer to the depths of winter. Last night’s concert, in Richmond, was a great return to this wonderful city and its warm audience, and I’m looking forward to the last few concerts which culminate in a performance at the stunning National Cathedral in Washington, DC. I’m lucky enough to have some family coming to the final few concerts and can’t wait to share life on the road with them.

Whether after a concert, or in a masterclass, One of the most frequently-asked questions is “what do you rehearse and for how long?” – and the answer is that we’re always looking ahead. If you’re rehearsing a piece for that night’s performance, the chances are you’re too late! We do of course look at music for that evening’s show, but only in a forensic way; something might have gone not to plan in a previous performance, or we might choose to change an interpretation here and there, but generally speaking the performance is made days before we walk out on stage. At the moment we’re preparing for more recording sessions next term, and looking ahead to our KS50 anniversary programmes, as well as trying out new close harmony arrangements.

I hope you’ve all had a good 2016. This is my last blog of the year – have a very Merry Christmas, and here’s to a great 2017!


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