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Davidson: Day One

16 April, 2013

A refreshed Ben writes:

“After one of the most gruelling travel days in Stile Antico history, we finally reached Davidson, NC, just after midnight.  There was a huge sense of relief as we stepped out of the car into the warm, summery air. We were met by a welcoming party made up of the lovely people hosting us while we’re here.

“9 hours of deep sleep later, we piled into our rented Dodge minivans and drove to pick up the rest of the group from their hosts dotted around the 1000 acres of the River Run Country Club. From there we set off to Northlake Mall for another retail experience. Having come away empty-handed from the super-size mall in Minneapolis, several people were determined to buy shorts and flip-flops for the hot weather [hang on… I’d better move on before this blog becomes another special edition about malls and weather].

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“With our new summer purchases we headed to Jetton Park for lunch by Lake Norman. At this stage of the tour it doesn’t get any better than having a picnic on a sunny beach, looking out at the lake with just the sound of the birds singing in the forest behind us. Nothing could have been better… until the mysterious disappearance of Helen Ashby…

Nessie takes Helen

“After soaking up some much-needed sun, we drove back to Davidson to lead a workshop/masterclass with the 25 students of Davidson College Chorale and their director, Chris Gilliam. They sang extracts from the Howells Requiem – one of my desert island discs – and a Bach cantata, and we were so impressed by the high standard of ensemble singing they demonstrated, and really enjoyed working with them. We performed a couple of pieces from our tour programmes and finished with them singing a piece they know very well by Paulus, standing ‘in the round’ and facing outwards to focus on the listening skills we discussed in the workshop.

“Last stop of the day was dinner at the North Harbour Club – a lovely restaurant with a view out onto the lake. A great way to end the day!”

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Our Davidson stay continues with another workshop this afternoon and a concert tonight at Davidson United Methodist Church.  It’s great to be back in this beautiful area catching up with old friends from our last visit (in December 2011) – we hope we can do them proud with our performance tonight!