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Home Sweet Home

22 April, 2013

We’re safely back in the UK after a whirlwind three weeks: ten concerts, ten flights and 14,500+ miles under our belts.  Our tour ended yesterday in New York City where, after a gloriously sunny morning variously spent sightseeing in Lower Manhattan, running, scaling the Rockefeller Center or sampling the delights of Sunday brunch at the legendary Sarabeth’s, we gave our final concert at Christ Church, 121st St. This was our fifth NYC appearance, and our third in the outstanding Music before 1800 series; we are always well supported here and hugely enjoyed performing for an enthusiastic audience.

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Afternoon concerts have the inestimable advantage of allowing some quality relaxation time afterwards, and so we were able to raise a glass or two to a successful tour before heading for the airport and the late flight back to London. We said our bleary-eyed goodbyes at Heathrow this morning, and look forward to seeing each other again on May 5th, when we perform at the inaugural Oxford Early Music Festival.

There have been many memorable moments over the past three weeks. Here are a few of our favourites:

Eleanor: “The ferry trip between Vancouver and Vancouver island was a real highlight – but so was the unexpected tour of Victoria which Matthew and I received from a kind promoter!  That night’s concert was especially enjoyable – I loved the encore, Campion’s Never Weather-Beaten Sail, which sounded particularly calm after the audience’s enthusiastic stamping.”

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Becky: “I really enjoyed the tour of the Library of Congress – it was amazing to hear about all the priceless musical manuscripts there and see the beautiful Reading Room.”

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Katie: “Singing Tallis’ O Sacrum Convivium at the Chan Centre, Vancouver, was very special – it really felt like everyone was on the same wavelength.” 

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Amy: “I had a great time with my hosts in Davidson, and loved walking their dog, bird-watching in their garden (lots of new spots) – and the pleasure of being able to do my laundry on tour is not to be underestimated! The audience reception we got at the Washington Library of Congress was a real thrill too.”

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James: “I loved singing Gombert at the glorious Chan Centre in Vancouver, swimming at a lakeside mansion in Davidson, and meeting Mavis the Portuguese water dog in Provincetown.”

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Jim: “Highlights include being allowed to sing above middle C in public (after several concerts covering for a sick bass), sabotaging Ben’s photographs, and vigorously debating the merits of sports cars with a local in Westport, CT.”

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Emma: “After snow in the UK and in Minneapolis, a sunny walk by the lake in warm North Carolina was just what we all needed.”

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Tom: “The concert in the Chan Centre was great, particularly after such a tiring travel day.  As was the meal at Jack Stack, Kansas City – perhaps the biggest and best steak of my life.”

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Will: “I had a great day in New Haven, CT – a good hotel, an excellent concert in front of an excellent audience, and the defining pizza experience of my life afterwards.”

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Ben: “Photographing a bald eagle from the Vancouver Island ferry was amazing, as was the standing ovation we got in Boston.”

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Andrew: “I loved running by the Atlantic in Westport, CT, and performing at the Library of Congress, where so many famous works have been premiered.”

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Helen: “No doubt everyone will mention the ferry journey and the pizza in New Haven, so I’ll go for the laid-back evening we spent in the Dakota jazz club in Minneapolis.  The concert in Victoria was really fun – the audience’s energy helped a very tired choir give their all.”

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Matthew: “I had an amazing time in Canada, seeing a whale from the Vancouver Island ferry and sitting in the co-pilot seat for the return journey via seaplane.” (Video here!)

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It remains to say thank you to everyone who has looked after us along the way – the ten concert promoters, our hosts in Davidson, NC, the teams at Knudsen Productions, Ikon Arts and Harmonia Mundi USA.  Thanks too to everyone who came to watch us perform, who came to meet us, who sent messages, comments and tweets, and who read our blog entries – we hope we’ve been able to give a flavour of life behind the scenes on a Stile tour!  We look forward to a busy summer season, and a return to the States in October.  But for now, this is a rather sleepy Stile Antico, signing off.