Clare Choir feels

like my family and

a whole army of

my best friends

put together

John Rutter CBE, composer/conductor, former Director of Music (1975-79)


USA December 2015 Tour: Blog Day 1

Date: Friday 11 December 2015 8.30pm


After a year's break for vocabulary expansion and banter refinement, the Conglomerative Congregation of the Choristers of the Choir of the Chapel of Clare College Cambridge (CCCCCCCC) are delighted to announce the return of the tour blog.
This Christmas tour period actually began with a thrilling three-day trip to Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Wales, but today's blog comes from Greensboro, North Carolina, the first stop on our frankly ridiculous tour of the USA, which will involve seven flights in six days to five different states. The choir staggered to the coach on Queen'sd Road at 5am – one of the few lie-ins over the next week – looking a little bleary- eyed but nevertheless living up to our reputation as the #bestlookingchoirincambridge.
After the usual splurge of per diems on an enormous airport breakfast we boarded our nine hour flight to Charlotte, NC, with the Dec Altos quickly scouting out extra leg-room in which to spread their 6 foot limbs. Younger members of the choir were excited to stock up on the free alcohol on offer at 9am, assuring the air hostesses that they were of course over the drinking age of 21. The Lay Clerk looked on in judgement of their youthful enthusiasm with her HumidiFlyer® firmly in place - got to keep those vocal cords moist. Everything went smoothly until our dodgy-looking Assistant Organist had his passport confiscated at immigration and was dragged aside for questioning about his criminal record. Our quick- thinking Director leapt into action, removing the choir CDs from Michael's bag in case he was detained – good to know G's got his priorities in order.
Thankfully our only organist was soon returned to us, so we could head on to Greensboro. The thought of the party that awaited us, usually great news for this fun-loving crew, was not quite so appealing after 24 hours awake. However the outrageously festive decorations and two adorable pugs at host James Keith's house lifted our spirits - the local beer (a mere 8.6%) on tap in the bar downstairs was an added bonus. We were spoiled with delicious North Carolina specialities of pulled pork and warming chilli, and treated to rides downtown in James' 1912 Ford Model T, returning with windswept hair, massive grins and a shriek of “It's like a rollercoaster, but better!” from Can Tenor 1. The evening ended with tuneful, beer-enhanced renditions of Ding Dong and Silent Night for the homestay hosts that couldn't attend the concert the following day. After tearful goodbyes to the pugs and several#pugselfies we headed off with our homestay hosts for a good night's sleep.
Henny Box (Dec Alto 1) and Sophie Woodhead (Can Sop 1)