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17 April, 2016

Thanks to Eleanor for our penulimate blog!

On Thursday night Stile arrived in Texas for the first time (not counting our brief stop in Houston airport en route to Mexico in 2010). We were looking forward to a double dose of warmth: both the Texan sunshine, and the renowned Southern hospitality. Luckily we received both: a group of kind hosts welcomed us into their homes for a couple of nights, and on Friday we enjoyed plenty of time out in the blazing sunshine. A little too long for some of us, perhaps, as there was a fair amount of pink on display in the evening’s concert!

We made sure we saw a few sights as well as enjoying the weather. Will, Matt, Hugo and Tom K visited the Space Centre and marvelled at the humongous rockets.

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Others of us visited the Rothko chapel, on which opinions were decidedly split. Peaceful sanctuary or ugly monstrosity?! We couldn’t come to a consensus, so you’ll have to visit and decide for yourselves… Meanwhile, Molly kitted herself out in a Texan outfit bright enough to match the sunshine.

Houston has a thriving choral scene, so we performed to a very appreciative and knowledgable audience that night. Many of our hosts sing with the choir at Christ Church Cathedral (where we performed), or at St. Thomas’ Episcopal church. Several of Stile’s singers had previously visited Houston with the late David Trendell, who used to take four singers over each summer so that members of the local ‘Chorus Angelorum’ could experience a taste of the much-admired English choral tradition. Many acquaintances were renewed, although Helen (at home with 3-month-old Ben) was much missed by those who had sung with her on previous visits!

After a hideously early start, two flights, and a coach journey into town, we’re now in Milwaukee ready for our final concert of the tour. Thanks to Christ Church Cathedral for hosting us, and to all the kind individuals who roused themselves at 5.30am to make sure we left on time!