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 6

Date: Wednesday 16 December 2015 5.30pm


It was the big one, The Large Apple, The Modern Gomorrah, The City That Sleeps Even Less Than The Cortège of Choristers from the Choir of Clare College Cambridge: after our flurried visits to North Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania (no Senior Choral Scholar, it’s not where Dracula comes from…) and Vermont, we’d finally made it to the last stop on the tour, (you guessed it) New York. Once the fresher contingent had recovered from their initial disappointment (“It’s definitely more ‘New’ than ‘York’, isn’t it?”), we were all star-struck and incredibly excited to make the most of our (drum roll) FOUR HOURS at liberty in the Windy City before our performance in the evening. Waving a teary goodbye to our bus driver from Vermont, we dropped off our bags shortly after 1pm, and prepared to go wild. Some went to the Museum of Modern Art, others went to admire the Metropolitan Opera House – and our Assistant Organist even found some giant throbbing organs to ogle at. Oh yes, CCCCC knows how to have fun.


Just before 6pm the choir assembled in Midtown Manhattan, opposite Grand Central Station, to freshen up after our long afternoon in the Magic City. We were performing at a Clare alumni drinks function in the prestigious Yale Club. Unfortunately, every inch of space on all twenty-two floors was evidently taken up with Very Important Things, because the choir had to change in the corner of the room they would later sing in – at the time the guests started arriving! Thankfully we’re the #bestlookingchoirincambridge, so no one seemed to mind too much.


We sang twice at the reception, to the great pleasure of the delightful alumni who we spent the rest of the time getting to know. And then it was time to depart with our homestays, locals of the Big Easy, to snatch our final (night’s?) sleep. Sadly, it was all too much for Can Bass 4, who left his music and clothes at the club. “He’s an idiot,” pronounced our Director, helpfully smoothing things over as he handed a pair of jeans to a friendly chorister for safe keeping.


As you can imagine, eyes were deliriously bright and tails were pretty darn bushy when we arrived at JFK Airport at 5am the next morning. Well, apart from those over the age of 21, who’d made the most of the adult pleasures on offer in the City of Sin the previous night. But even they recovered after a restful kip on the floor of Gate 24A – now it was back to London for one final concert in St John’s Smith Square the following day. And then home for Christmas.


Tom Ashton (Dec Bass 3) and Bea dos Santos (Dec Alto 3)