A College so rich

in musical talent

Timothy Brown, conductor, former Director of Music (1979-2010)


USA December 2017 Tour Blog: Day 8

Date: Wednesday 13 December 2017 3.00pm


[Enter Narrators] [Red hair] [Irish brogue] [Two separate people]Dear Diary,We hope that you are well. We are quite alright here in St Johnsbury, VT, but there are a few things that these TB freshers would love to tell you. We think there's plenty for you to tell the children. I'll go first (Red hair).I believe it was Lucifer who, upon his arrival into Hell, famously proclaimed to a reclining devil that the weather outside is frightful, but that the fire is so delightful. Indeed it was similarly delightful for many of us to be received by our heartwarming homestays in the mountains of Vermont. Thankfully, I am told, Vermont is not at all like Hell, not least since temperatures plunged to -19 Celsius. This was a veritable Winter Wonderland with wonderful hosts. Among our many happy stories from homestays, I was saddened to learn of the passing of my hosts' cat, Max, with whom I was, of course, hoping to spend most of my time in the evenings. Sometimes life comes and deals you a blow. You take it on the chin, you move on. Rest in Peace, Max cat.[New Scene] [Exterior] [Urban] [Winter]In the morning, Jack Frost found himself at a significant advantage when the Clare Choir menagerie escaped into St Johnsbury in their matching bobble hats, drifting their way through drifting snow drifts in too few clothes across the Moose River to the Grove Farm Maple Syrup Factory. There are two lessons regarding shoes here, dearest diary: converses in the deep Vermont snow are surely the way forward in both style and comfort (you're very welcome, America), whereas Vans doth not a man nor a woman protect for it was Theo 'who isn't actually that posh' Normanton who was left for dead in the snow in the final throes of 'Assassins', killed gruesomely by a flannel borrowed from a homestay. In his final moments accepting the swift hand of death, he was, poignantly, the only person wearing Vans. Rest in peace.[New Scene] [Interior] [Log cabin]It is for only a solemn few in this universe that the sight of free Maple Syrup candy samples can conjure culinary displeasure. This was Maple Syrup that could have sold solved the Cuban Missile Crisis, and surely there can be only one leading sugary connoisseur in Clare College Choir for whom sugar is no match than Isaac 'high off his t*ts on maple syrup' Jarratt-Barnham. This grumpy Can Bass 4 countertenor has found previous success in the ring against Winnie the Pooh, KOing him in the 7th. Never before, and in no such shameless a manner, has so much sugar been eaten by one man, and with such little effect - and will likely never be repeated again. Records blown away, but at what diabetic cost? Rest in peace.[Dialogue] [Internal] [Log cabin]Toby [English, informative]: we're from EnglandElderly shopkeeper [endangered]: I love your guys' hats[continues to like our matching hats]While Isaac 'the honey badger' Jarratt-Barnham watched Maple syrup educational videos on repeat through dizzied eyes, an unintentional romance was blossoming between Can Sop 4 Rebecca 'Some vegetables would be nice' McElroy and the small cups of free maple syrup as she finally found a source of vegan nectar to warm her cockles. Meanwhile, the rest of the choir poked, flicked and purchased various 'small things' relating, as I understand, to maple syrup, including, but not in any way limited to (or by), maple syrup and its co-variants. Needless to say, with Christmas looming like a great bauble in the sky, the choir left the gift shop bearing gifts of Frankinmaple, Myrrhple syrup and [gold] bars of maple fudge. (RIP)[Scene freezes] [Irish brogue takes over]The afternoon’s activities featured a venture into the wilderness by explorers, Messrs Hong and Normanton. Featuring gorgeous views (and a very real risk of frostbite, as they were later informed), the trip included the formation of the local delicacy known as ‘yellow snow’ by Theo ‘don’t put this in the *!@%£$& blog’ Normanton, who could not be persuaded to bring back a sample for the rest of the choir.Other members of the choir experienced the taxidermic nightmare that was the St Johnsbury Museum, perhaps the only time Dec Alto 2 Julia ‘Megaphone’ Morris has ever exclaimed a dislike of fluffy animals.The afternoon’s rehearsal in the gorgeous Unified Community Church of St Johnsbury included the introduction of radical new GrahamographyTM, in the form of a procession around the church to O Come, O Come Emmanuel (arr Graham ‘Director of Music Graham Ross’ Ross). Featuring the ascent of steep staircases, the audience were later treated to the delightful wheezing sound of Clare Choir as they ascended the steps, possibly representing the most exercise done by most of the choir all year.The concert itself went swimmingly, and the audience of St Johnsbury showed their deep vocal appreciation of the concert. Unfortunately, unlike four years ago, Tavener’s God is With Us did not feature Graham ‘basso profundo’ Ross singing the technically challenging Tenor solo.The interval featured dramatic happenings, with the terrifying reign of Harriet ‘H. H. Holmes’ Caisley ended by Georgie ‘dirty poacher’ Gulliver, who became the Last Woman Standing, with the toothbrush of our dear director being the murder weapon of choice.The second half also went smoothly; particularly appreciated by the rural townsfolk of St Johnsbury were the authentic sounds of animal procreation, largely produced by Graham ‘I’m very proud of my ‘moo’’ Ross and Toby ‘I hope this doesn’t awaken anything in me’ Hession.As the day drew to an end, and the temperatures began to plummet, the members of Clare Choir made their ways back to their homestays, in preparation for a long day of travel ahead.