The Choir of Clare College,

Cambridge, was warm,

true and magnificent.

Peter McCallum - Sydney Morning Herald


USA Tour Blog December 2017: Day 2

Date: Thursday 07 December 2017 12.30pm


As fun as it was to stay at the YMCA, the attractions of the Big Apple left nobody hitting 'snooze' and, determined to make the most of their day off, some set off at the crack of dawn to enjoy views of the early-morning skyline from the top of the Rockerfeller centre.


The more outdoorsy braved the chill for a leisurely stroll around nearby Central Park, a doorstep oasis of calm amid the concrete jungle of the city. The morning’s physical exertion was naturally rewarded by a hearty stack of all-American pancakes, oozing with floods of maple syrup.


A plethora of sights was available to us, from the wintry wonderland of Macy's 9th floor, to the extravagant interiors of Trump Tower, and the poignant memorial at Ground Zero. Yet, as ever, Graham chose to lead a group to some local churches - undoubtedly an exotic sight for a group of travelling choral scholars.


An unusual highlight to the day was a visit to Ellen's 'Stardust Diner', a restaurant on  Broadway with an incredibly talented singing wait-staff who entertain diners as they eat with medleys of show-tunes.


Meanwhile, others still found their own stardom among the gold-gilded streets. No doubt captivated by the lustrous locks of our resident gingers, Howard ‘ginger’ Winfield, and Julia ‘ginger’ Morris, Channel 1 News Crews turned to an erudite choral contingent for help in their feature on fidget spinners, about which they knew absolutely nothing. Watch Theo 'never held one of these in my life’ Normaton convincingly blag his way otherwise in an interview which airs next Tuesday.


It wasn't all fun and games - although the evening did see us continuing an increasingly fraught one of Assassins. Today’s high-profile victims, including CCFC Captain, Holly Holt, and Director, Graham Ross, bare witness to the fact that nobody is indeed safe - not least football captains and choral conductors. How the mighty are fallen.


It also saw the choir busily preparing for a reception at the Morgan Library for the University’s new Vice Chancellor. Cambridge Alumni were treated to a fine-crafted selection of staples from British Choral repertory, including Byrd, Elgar, Harris, and Bublé, followed by drinks and canapés.


New York might be the city that never sleeps, but with an impending 5am start, we were in definite need of ours. Taking a brief detour through Times Square to glimpse it in all its radiant neon glory, we headed back to the hostel, ready for another busy day ahead.


Jonathan Nicolaides and Rhea Gupta