I feel privileged to

have been a part

of the Choir’s


Jonathan Brown, bass, former Organ Scholar (1993-96)


Asia Tour Blog - Day 14

Date: Friday 16 September 2016 6.30am


Cautionary Verse, Anglo-Saxon elegy, a Bake-Off script and Minimalist bullet points. It might seem that I am faced with the opportunity to follow this roll of ever more fanatical blog formats with either interpretative dance or improvisatory nose whistlingHowever, having decided to make a great leap from the unknown into the boring and benign, I have decided to spurn the new status quo of ‘style over substance’ and instead transcribe a page from my daily secret diary. Hopefully this will provide you with an insight into the lowly life of a CA5 (dep.) on one especially uneventful day.


Dear Diary,


I’m the new boy on the block. Malto Cantoris MinimusAnd I finally feel as if I am being accepted into the choir after three weeks. I’ve realised that all the choir ‘chat’ is really just friendly banter and that its actually quite good to be ordered ‘tacet’ in the Bernstein, Britten, Swayne, VilletteTchaikovsky, Purcell and Tallis – oh sorry, I forgot the Bach – but to be fair they’re all really, really hard! I am allowed to sing The Clare Benediction and the Encore but only because my voice blends so well. Now those are hard pieces. 


The atmosphere in the choir is actually quite supportive. In fact, I have only been made to feel isolated, unappreciated and ignored four or five times today. Graham even said I could walk in (and bow!) at the same time as the rest of the choir yesterday (admittedly from off-stage). I found the bowing almost too exciting! 


I am the only proto-fresher on the tour and I’ve loved getting to meet all the members of the choir over the last two weeks. The thing that has surprised me most is that everyone is in a relationship with someone else in the choir. There’s Mr & Mrs Halstead, who are actually just engaged to be married. Tom & Lydia (at first I thought they were just friends… now I think there might be something going on). Holly and Alex. I doubt they’ll last to Christmas. Rosie and Rosie. Maybe I’ll even be lucky enough to find my special someone by the end of the tour!! 


I sit next to an alto called Henny. She’s right good but I reckon my ‘Adonai’ would be more what Len wanted. (Note to self. Must ask Graham about This is The Record of JohnAnother girl called Rosie keeps asking for the solo and I’m beginning to think she might try and bribe Graham). There’s also a guy called Leo who I think is in the choir but he spends a lot of time either sitting out of rehearsals or with a girl called Caroline, so I haven’t seen much of him. We have this really sick Russian baritone called Kristoph Holiday. According to Laurence, Kristoph thinks he’s quite a lot better at top F’s than he really is. On the other hand, his Latin pronunciation is very good (inspired inflection of Armenian Latin, ‘Populi’).


Anyway, Diary, it’s 8:15 and I should go to bed now so that I have an hour of sleep before the big boys come back and wake me up. I hope they don’t make me clean the bedroom with my toothbrush like yesterday. Will write soon and tell you more about the choir – maybe I’ll be allowed to talk to a Cantoris Bass tomorrow. They're so cool. Bye for now.


Joseph Payne (Cantoris Counter Tenor 1)