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Some Like It Hot: Davidson, Day 2.

17 April, 2013

Jim blogs on our second day in Davidson:

“One of the many pleasures of touring is the element of exploration: visiting cities across the globe, experiencing foreign cultures, performing in weird and wonderful venues, and meeting myriad new people; another is returning to a familiar favourite: revisiting a far-flung town, understanding a culture (or, at least, knowing how to avoid faux pas), singing in a perfect acoustic, and recognising faces in the audience.

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“When we first received the invitation to visit Davidson, NC in December, 2011, to perform a programme of Christmas music in the United Methodist Church, I admit that I had never before heard of the town, and inspection of a map revealed no more than the fact it lies to the North of Charlotte, on the eastern shore of Lake Norman. Upon arrival at Charlotte airport, we were met by an inimitable blizzard of energy and enthusiasm that goes by the name of Kevin Turner, who drove us in the UMC bus the thirty-or-so miles to Davidson, where we were welcomed by a crowd of friendly, smiling faces, all seemingly very happy to have us invade their town. As exploring goes, this experience was hardly daunting, and over the few days that we stayed, we got to know members of the congregation, college students, and other members of the community; upon departure, we all felt that we had made firm friends, and very much looked forward to returning.

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“Fast forward sixteen months, and return we have, to undiminished friendliness, welcome, and enthusiasm, and by far the best weather we’ve seen so far on this tour, with temperatures in the mid-twenties (or high-seventies, if you speak American) and the time to enjoy it. Tuesday morning began for some with a stroll about the wooded shoreline of the lake, admiring the local dogwood blossoms and octogenarian keep-fit fanatics, before the temperature rose too high. This was followed by either a refreshing and very healthy banana milkshake (two large scoops of vanilla ice cream, half a pint of full-cream milk, and half a banana) at Soda Shack in town, or responding to Susan Good’s kind invitation to have a picnic at her house by the lake. Thereafter, a rehearsal in the church, another workshop – this time with two of the church choirs – and finally a concert of our favourite pieces, subjectively entitled Treasures of the Renaissance. And to finish the day, a party hosted by Chuck and Jenni Sherrill (yet more friendly residents), where there was much wine and splendid cheese to fill our bellies.

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“We would like to thank all of the families that hosted us this year for making us feel so welcome, and also those who were unable to host this year, but still took the time to attend our concert – we have agreed that the prize for most raucous audience member goes to Dick Brenner! As I sit writing this in departure lounge C9 of Charlotte International airport, I know I speak (type?) for the whole group by stating that Davidson is definitely established as a familiar favourite; we look forward to coming back again, again.”

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