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18 December, 2018

Howdy Texas!

Eleanor blogs about our time in Texas!

“The first few days of our tour were characterised by labyrinthine churches, warm acoustics, and even warmer Texan hospitality. Our first stop was Dallas, where we returned to the Church of the Incarnation to present our new Christmas programme, A Spanish Nativity, and were rewarded afterwards with a sumptuous feast of canapes. We were very touched that our American Airlines flight attendant came to see us perform, having spoken to a few members of the group whilst we were cruising across the Atlantic the previous day. She was even kind enough to bring us a beautiful bag of Texan treats as a gift!

“Earlier in the day, some of us had visited the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza and learned about the life and death of President John F. Kennedy. We saw a recreation of the sniper’s perch, then later on we found ourselves following the route of the cavalcade and driving over the crosses marking the exact locations where his shots made their mark. A rather sombre but fascinating start to the day, and luckily we knew we could rely on Mateo Flecha’s Riu, riu chiu to get us back into the festive spirit by the evening’s performance!

“The following morning we visited the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, where we enjoyed the irony of an enormous plastic Christmas tree!

“We were pleased, however, to have admired a variety of living plants too, since we spent the next five or six hours looking out of a car window at… well, nothing really. We were driving from Dallas to Lubbock, and we’d been warned that the scenery would be unchanging, which indeed it was. Other than the odd hillock and an interesting juxtaposition of oil pumpjacks and wind turbines, it was just a huge expanse of sky and the open road.

“Eventually we arrived in Lubbock, where we were to perform in the First United Methodist Church. When we entered the sanctuary, we were dismayed to find ourselves stepping onto a floor covered entirely in carpet, but it belied a miraculously warm and clear acoustic. After the concert, we were treated to yet another gourmet reception, where we spent more time with our friendly hosts and members of the church community. But the real treat was yet to come, courtesy of generous congregant Brian. He invited us to spend the evening in his rather luxurious house, which boasted not only its own bar, but also a very comfy basement cinema. Settling down to a Christmas movie was just what we needed before a gruelling early start the next day – many thanks to Brian, and to all the wonderful Lubbock people who looked after us so well!”