Music at Clare was

rather amateurish

when I was up.

How things

have changed!

Sir Roger Norrington, conductor (1954-57)


USA Tour December 2015 Tour: Blog Day 5

Date: Tuesday 15 December 2015 1.00pm


Having been converted to Alice and Graham's seemingly insatiable passion for early mornings, the choir out of their sleep arouse and wo-o-o-o-oke at 3:00 am in Philadelphia, being treated to a stunning sunrise two train journeys and one delayed flight later. Graham relished the opportunity to get in a few more games of Bananagrams before the flight, whilst Tom Ashton cemented his place as choir diva after spending $15 on priority boarding at the airport, an act of conspicuous consumption that greatly impressed certain Can Sops. Arriving at Burlington airport, we were greeted by several parishioners of St. Stephen's, who kindly drove us all the way to the church. There followed rehearsals and then an opportunity to explore the beautiful town.


A crisis was however developing, as the two towering figures of the Decani, Henny Box and Rosie Taylor, hit the 'dec' after a severe bout of alto-tude sickness. Fortunately Catherine Clark and Assistant Organist Michael 'Clemens non' Papadopoulos stepped into Dec's quite considerable void and truly succeeded in dressing Mouton up as lamb. Bar a few overt mistakes in the rather unfortunately named 'Softly,' Michael treated the sell-out crowd at St. Stephens to a vocal masterclass, ably navigating the passagio with poise and finesse.


It was a good concert too for Laurence Booth-Clibborn too, who was delighted by the choir's expert transposition of silent night down a tone, in spite of feeling less than sharp after all the travel. The centrepiece of the the concert, Bax's incredible 'Mater ora filium' was also warmly received by the audience. It was great to hear wonderful reviews from our homestays of the whole concert when we travelled to their houses later that night, the whole choir cheered by a sense of a job-well-done, and eagerly awaiting the 6 a.m start the following morning.


Kit Holliday (Can Bass 4) and Leo Benedict (Dec Bass 4)