Only a few members of the Choir would remember the party held after our final concert in Berlin in 2009 but without that party our trip to Bordeaux would never have come about. In Berlin we met Ian Christians, an alumnus, who has a passion for music, fine wine and generating experiences. He very kindly invited us to come and give concerts in the area where he runs his holiday business in Bordeaux and we were delighted to take the opportunity in the week after the May Balls and before Graduation. We were housed alongside the guests in Ian’s fabulous houses at Domaine du Faure. The first night saw Danny Driver, another Clare alumnus, give a fine piano recital. The next day saw a concert at L’Eglise Collègiale, St. Emillion, including Carissimi’s short oratorio, Jephte, featuring Stefan Kennedy and Joséphine Stephenson as Jepthe and his daughter. The second concert was at the Church in Gensac. Our last night in Bordeaux with Ian and the other guests consisted of two recitals either side of dinner. In the first the choir performed Brahms’ Liebeslider Waltzes, 18 short pieces in various combinations allowing each member of the choir to shine. After dinner members of the choir were invited to sing or play something, an opportunity that was taken by Alessandro Fisher, Peter Aisher, Hermione Thompson, Nicholas Mogg, Will Cole, Heloise Werner, Dominic Sedgwick, James Henshaw and the Director of Music Graham Ross, and was brought to a close by an impromptu performance of the Three Little Maids from School by our own little maids, Harriet Colley, Ellie Caine, and Hermione Thompson.

The next day saw us move to Paris and sing a final concert at L’Eglise St. Merry with Iain Simcock and his choir, the Academie Vocale including Walton’s epic, The Twelve.

Our thanks must go to Ian Christians without whose help the tour would not have been possible.