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Back to School/Tranquility in Concord

13 April, 2016

A big thank you to Will for today’s blog!

After all the excitement of the lasers and excessive Bass (rarely a problem for me) in the bus from the airport, Wednesday morning in the State Capital of New Hampshire greeted us in familiar, English fashion: cold and wet weather right off the top shelf of grimness.  Most of the group therefore decided to make the most of a little more time relaxing on our highly comfortable, and brand new hotel beds, before our midday departure to St Paul’s School, Concord.  We were met by Nicholas White, the Director of Music at the school, and a former organ scholar at Clare, Cambridge.  He went out of his way to make us feel very welcome, and we were immediately whisked off for our first of two meals that day in the school Dining Hall.

St Paul’s is a pretty stunning school with an absolutely vast campus area, with plenty of glorious woodland, lakes, and highly attractive architecture, and since the sun came out with aplomb at the end of the rehearsal, we made the most of it and explored the campus, discovering some idyllic sights, highly enthusiastic dogs, and a bridge, perfect to introduce Pooh-sticks to the uninitiated.

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After a lovely concert (with a pretty young average aged audience!) it was good to head for a quick drink or two with our good friend Bill Kempster from the University of New Hampshire, and several members of the UNH choirs.  It’s always good to see Bill, and re-acquaint ourselves with the long-standing UK vs Australia banter.  I wonder if his screensaver is still the picture we added of the England Cricket team?

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Thursday morning was a rather early start for Tom, Emma, and Me, to take a a workshop at 0745 (!!) with the St Paul’s School Choir.  Fortunately, Nicholas brought Donuts to keep the sugar levels peaked.  The choir sang really well in music by Frank Ticheli and Thomas Morley, and it’s always good for both us and them to have these experiences.  Nicholas then took the group out for a proper American breakfast which was extremely appreciated by all!

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Now the short drive to Vermont awaits…  Over to Kate to tell you about that in a day or two.