If it weren't for

Clare, I wouldn't

be the singer

I am today

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano (1995-98)


December Christmas tour 2016

Date: Saturday 17 December 2016 8.30am


On the second day of tour blog my true love gave to me… two missing shoes and some Graha-amo-ography™.Most of the choir managed a reasonable amount of sleep at our London homestays, since the coach did not leave until the leisurely hour of 11 o’clock. However, one member of the choir did not have the luxury of a lie-in – Matthew “Dedication” Nixon was returning triumphantly from Cambridge with his retrieved music. And so, once the final choir member had arrived (*ahem* Rachel), we set off for the reputedly beautiful town of Leamington Spa.Sadly, we didn’t have time to see the spa for ourselves since St. Mark’s Church was a little way outside the town. After a rehearsal, primarily to plan the evening’s Grahamography™, it was time for the main event of the afternoon: extreme Bananagrams. Although some players put up a brave fight using their extensive knowledge of the Scrabble dictionary, particularly Harry “It’s a kind of Tibetan yak” Castle, Jackson “Shhh!” Riley came out on top in the longest word variant with the fantastic “trimolecular” and Lydia “Allain” Chapman reigned supreme in that lesser-known game, Latin Bananagrams. 

A hungry choir retired to the church hall for dinner after our mental exertions, where we were greeted with a dinner so sublime that it inspired Josh Cleary to pen a sequel to his “Shepherd’s Pie Carol” – his new “Cottage Pie Carol”. Having refuelled, the most indefatigable Bananagrams players continued their games while others relaxed before the beginning of the concert. Unfortunately, Alex “Starbordeous” had forgotten his concert shoes and the realisation came too late for him to rush back to London to fetch them (now known as “doing a Nixon”)*. Luckily, Rosie came to his aid with some high-heeled boots, and Alex smashed the choreography in “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, emboldened by the boost to his figure - stay posted for details of Alex’s upcoming role in the hit musical Kinky Boots.Since Harry “Hollow Legs” Hudson was leading the procession that night, the concert went without a hitch, with Toby “Imperfect Pitch” Hession bringing word-painting to a new level by cracking on the word “crack”. In fact, it went so well that “Veni Emmanuel”, the disc whose repertoire was best represented in the concert, outsold all the other discs during the interval.

At the end of the concert the choristers left with their various homestays to get a good night’s sleep, and we two wound down before bed by indulging in yet more art and culture (i.e. watching the Strictly final).*Not to be confused with the previous definition of “doing a Nixon”, which everyone who came to the Netherlands in 2014 would prefer to forget. 


Anna Tindall (Can Sop 2) and Eleanor Smith (Dec Sop 1)