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Favourite moments

16 April, 2018

Yesterday’s concert in the wonderful Sala de Conciertos at the Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango in Bogotá rounded off a memorable two week tour in North and South America. We took a few minutes to look back over our favourite moments of the trip.

Tom K: Savannah. It’s hard not say that name with a deep southern drawl (in my head, of course). But I absolutely love the southern states of America, particularly Georgia. Two planes of air conditioning makes that sweet humid air all the more welcome. Like the people. The perfect start to any American adventure.

Eleanor: I started reading John Bernhardt’s ‘Midnight in the Garden of Cool and Evil’ en route to the US, so I really enjoyed walking the squares of Savannah and spotting the various streets and buildings that feature in the book. Another highlight was singing our new programme ‘Queen of Muses’ in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond. We had a lot of fun with the new pieces, and the acoustic was absolutely stunning!

James: Arriving in Bogota and heading straight up the cable car to Monseratte where we sipped Coca Tea to offset the effects of the altitude whilst overlooking the entire city. Closely followed by being pulled over by the San Andres police whilst at the wheel of a golf cart. It turned out they were just being friendly, I think.


Kate: This tour saw us visit so many new amazing places but sometimes the greatest pleasure comes from revisiting old favourites. For me the highlight of the trip was coming onto the stage at St Paul’s Church in Cambridge. The combination of a large and enthusiastic crowd and the atmospheric lighting created by the darkened church led to a memorable performance of the Tenebrae Responsories. The beers afterwards with old friends felt well deserved!

Will: The reaction from the audience in Florencia was absolutely amazing – I doubt they’d ever heard polyphony before, but both during and after, they exuded extraordinary Latin American enthusiasm for what we were doing.

Becky: Having started to wonder why on earth I’d been carting my snorkel and prescription mask (plus one of the kids’ set for others to use) around America, I had the chance to feel both smug and magnanimous about it at the same time on our free morning in San Andrés before flying back to Bogotá. We all loved seeing the colourful Caribbean fish (plus rather menacing-looking barracuda). We then had a delightful valedictory lunch at a restaurant on a white sandy beach. Bliss!

Andrew: I loved running along the beautiful trails by the James River in Richmond, Virginia, but my highlight has got to be encountering and photographing a family of iguanas on a little island off the coast of San Andrés.

Emma: As much as I LOVED San Andrés and swimming in the Caribbean sea, my highlight was being in Florencia, being stared at by all the locals because we were such foreigners. Its a good reminder that the world doesn’t revolve around us white British people!

Helen: A few of us had a great evening out in Florencia where we sampled the local plantain burgers and then got salsa dancing lessons from a Colombian barman in a bar above a garage forecourt in the Amazonian jungle. Not something I thought we’d end up doing when a few of us got together to sing through some polyphony back in 2001!

Ben: Going back to Davidson NC always feels like a homecoming, thanks to the lovely group of people who look after us there. Lying out on the grass soaking up sunshine between rehearsals and frequent visits to the lovely coffee shop in town made it such a relaxing stop on an otherwise hectic tour. Thanks again Kevin et al!


Nick: Being the only interloper on this tour the whole trip felt like a privilege! However the best highlight for me was probably in Florencia, when we travelled into the Amazon and swam in a crystal clear river. It felt like the point that was furthest away from “normal” life back in the UK.

Katie: It’s always fun to soak up the buzzy atmosphere of New York, even if it’s only for a short time. The city was every bit as fast-paced and exciting as when we last visited (for the Grammys in January), but sadly this time we were here for less than 24 hours. This didn’t stop us drawing an appreciative crowd for our concert at Corpus Christi, including audience members who had travelled to hear us from Hawaii, and even the wilds of Minnesota (thank you M)!

We’ll be crossing the Atlantic again in October for concerts in the US, before we head west again to South Korea and Macau. Exciting times ahead!