It was inspiring to

be able to work

alongside leading


James McVinnie, organist, former Organ Scholar (2003-06)


USA Tour Blog September 2014: Day 2

Date: Monday 22 September 2014



USA Tour September 2014

Day 2


Faced with a free morning in sunny Atlanta, the members of the choir were all determined to defeat jet lag and have extensive lie-ins. We met with mixed success; whilst some managed to keep themselves in bed until a vaguely respectable time, others woke in the small hours of the morning feeling slightly like death (which of course had absolutely nothing to do with our abuse of Delta Airlines’ drinks policy). The various activities laid on for us by our hosts were nevertheless met with complete and universal enthusiasm (obviously) as we threw ourselves into the local culture with as much glee as that of James Proctor faced with a pint of Löwenbrau.


These activities provided a pretty good snapshot of Georgian life: some people visited the Civil Rights Museum, others took in the Coke Factory (which has 150 flavours apparently. I’m not sure who thought that was necessary), Graham Ross struggled up a local mountain, whilst Kit Preston Bell and I hit the gym in a vain attempt to get rid of the jet lag. This gym was in fact part of a church-gym complex (#onlyinAmerica #repsforJesus). We reconvened after lunch for our afternoon rehearsal, feeling after a day’s American-sized food portions like our stomachs were about to burst; despite this it turned out to be a suspiciously productive rehearsal, meaning we were done well in time for an early dinner with some Clare alumni. Also there were Tony and Ruth Badger, in the audience for their final ever Clare Choir concert before leaving the college.


After the dinner there was the customary game of danger-change (last person to begin changing for the concert wins) before we trooped on stage for the opening concert of tour. All things considered it went pretty well, a tremendously enthusiastic packed church giving us a warm welcome even if they did look a bit perplexed by the serialist Stravinsky. A standing ovation at the end capped things off nicely, Matthew Jorysz taking full advantage by deciding in the spur of the moment to ascend to the pulpit to take his bow. Afterwards we all went back with our hosts to hit the sack, this being about 3am English time (or in Kit and my case, went to a pizzeria and had a second supper. When in Rome…).


Hugo Popplewell (Dec Bass 1)