The singers


a full, vocally

mature sound.

Oliver Brett -


December 2017 Tour Blog: Day 14

Date: Tuesday 19 December 2017 4.00pm


“O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to St. John’s Smith Square”.


That’s not how it goes, neither did Clare choir sing that version because pretty much everyone was unconscious until about 12:30pm, following the mere 43 hours that took us from waking up in Palm Desert, CA, to landing at Heathrow. Only two of those were sleeping so everyone was in an excellent mood and even better voice… The late start to the day, however, meant that everyone was actually on time to the rehearsal (almost, you can’t have it all.) Many congratulations to Joe “pug” Payne, whose diligence in checking the schedule meant he managed to convince most of the (as a result, quite stressed) choir that the 1515 meet time was, in fact, the rehearsal time: at 1520. Joe’s sense of timing has clearly gone downhill since his impromptu solo in Palm Desert. Today also heralded the triumphant return of Rosie “I’m a princess every day, but especially today” Taylor, on the wonderful occasion of her 22nd birthday. She arrived, armed with tales of her adventures in The Other Place, and attempted to remind us all of the meaning of the word ‘rest’, currently an unfamiliar concept. Rosie’s presence presented a number of numerical issues: she raised the average age of the choir slightly, the average height of the choir significantly, and the volume of the dec altos by approximately 100% (some of us still have slight tinnitus from the ‘gremio’ that came forth from the section.) Not only were there now 10 swans a swimming, but the famous war cry of the dec altos, “Erbarme dich”, has only 4 syllables. This presented only minor problems, as Princess Rosie seemed quite happy to secede her syllable to her slight inferior, the Rt. Hon. Lady Henny Box of the Hennyspheres, before coming in at the last minute (much like her presence on this tour.) The rest of the rehearsal went mostly without a hitch, a testament to Graham “our supreme leader” (his words) Ross and his slick rehearsal running skills. Slight organ-choir syncing issues were discovered, but down to the expertise of Ashley “should probably be doing CompSci” Chow, who pressed a button on the monitor, we managed to fix the problem for the time being. Dinner for Clare Choir was, once more, provided courtesy of Pret a Manger, the presence of which had been sorely missed in America. Other supper destinations included yet more pizza, or the first sushi fix for some since leaving for New York. There was, contrary to the impression given on this blog thus far, a concert, and a sell-out audience. This was a good thing given Howard “what should I do with these?” Winfield’s failure to report his remaining CDs for the US leg of the tour had clearly decreased the choir’s profit margin significantly. Graham planned his famous Grahamography™ such that Can had more of a workout on their lap from one side of the balcony down to the stage than they had the entire time in the US. Most members of the choir, however, were most looking forward to the wine of which they were supposed to have been deprived for two weeks. Friends were reunited at long last, old choir members met new choir members, and special mention must go to Tom “the bar never closes” Ashton, who kept us all in high spirits, both whilst avoiding a skirmish with the SJSS staff, and on our intrepid quest for a pub that was still open. Pub found, Rosie’s birthday in its final moments: a moment toasted by many and remembered by few. Sometimes what happens on tour really does stay on tour. 


Helena 'zzz' Mackie and Georgie 'zzz' Gulliver