As the US leg of our tour came to an end (we’ll be back in October!), we asked the departing Matthew to write about our time in our now-familiar haunts of Boston and NYC.
“With the prospect of a busy weekend ahead, Saturday morning saw a much-needed gentle start and civilised after-breakfast departure from the hotel. We abandoned our two Dodge Grand Caravans at the airport for a lunchtime flight to Boston – environmentally speaking rather like swapping one disposable plastic plate for another bigger one – but it enabled us to arrive in time to do a rehearsal and concert that same evening.
“We have sung at St Paul’s Church, Cambridge on several previous occasions and are always pleased to be back – its warm and supportive acoustic, even when full of people – is a joy to sing in and suits our kind of music very well; we performed Victoria’s Tenebrae Responsories to an appreciative packed church. We were particularly pleased to have a number of old friends of the group and its members in the audience, with whom there was the opportunity to enjoy some fine American craft ale (or alternative) after the concert.
“But not to excess! Sunday morning was a fairly prompt start: a trio of taxis ferried us from our hotel to Back Bay station at 8am, where we took the Amtrak to New York – a leisurely four-hour journey along the coastline of New England into Penn Station.
Our concert was an afternoon performance, which meant that we had a relatively tight schedule to negotiate Penn subway station, buy tickets and make the 11-stop journey uptown. Nonetheless, this didn’t stop Ben from taking a small diversion to augment his photography kit at NYC’s most legendary camera store. After a light lunch and rehearsal, we performed Victoria once more to a full house, albeit in the somewhat more intimate setting of Corpus Christi church, Morningside Heights – another venue familiar to us from previous visits. Here, even more than in St Paul’s Cambridge, little had prepared us for the extraordinary Eastertide flower display which surrounded us at the front of the church!
“This concert brought to an end the American part of the trip, and for me, the end of an era; circumstances necessitated my handing the baton over to James Arthur for the South American part of the trip – and, as I was driven off in my luxury SUV to the airport (an unexpected perk from the group’s performance to the Grammys earlier this year) I watched the sun set over Manhattan as I bade sad farewell to what was my final USA tour as a member of Stile Antico. But I was spared the early start which awaited everyone else the next morning!”