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23 April, 2022

A golden day in St Louis

Becky has the first instalment of our latest tour blog!

“Having left Heathrow on Wednesday at lunchtime, we arrived in St Louis, Missouri in the early evening after 12 hours of travelling. Understandably, we were pretty exhausted so it was a quick bite to eat (and maybe a cheeky beer) for some, and straight to bed for the less hardy.

“The beauty of travelling west is that it’s never a problem getting out of bed in the morning – though 5am is considered by some a little too early to wake up! – but at least it means everyone is up and ready to explore early on in the day. The earlier risers had been up and about, jogging or walking round the city or the huge Forest Park (four times the size of Central Park apparently) near our hotel before a group of six of us went for an absolutely delicious and wholesome brunch. We then went for a walk through the park, admiring some of the stunning features of late spring, including some very colourful tulips and extraordinarily bright pink blossoms. We were also fascinated by a lovely bird with a red breast which turned out to be an American robin — it looks nothing like its British counterpart — and spotted some adorable terrapins sunbathing.

“We arrived at the park’s vast boating lake and decided to take out a couple of pedaloes and managed not to get too wet – although we did get rather sunburnt as it was a gloriously sunny day!

“We joined some of the others for lunch at the cafe by the lake, before making our way back to our hotel to collect everything we needed for our concert. Meanwhile, other activities by the group had included working in the hotel room, exploring the city (taking in the famous St Louis arch) and visiting the art gallery.”

   

“We have sung in the amazing Cathedral Basilica of St Louis three times before and it was a joy to be back. This enormous building is utterly stunning, covered inside with gold mosaics, and has an incredible acoustic. Those of the group who had not been there before were suitably gobsmacked!

“It was wonderful to be able to use different parts of the building for the Allegri Miserere, with the solo quartet moving around between verses, so that you were never quite sure where Helen’s (consistently glorious) top C was coming from! It was great to be performing our now-familiar Toward the Dawn programme in that lovely acoustic, and the audience seemed to enjoy it too!

“On the way back to the hotel, there happened to be an establishment serving very reasonably-priced cocktails so, not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, in we went for a night cap before bed! All in all, a lovely day and a great start to our tour.”

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