August: a time to relax

Hi everyone.It’s been over a month since my last blogpost, but I’m now having a pretty relaxed August. I’ve just been outside reading a novel in the sunshine. The weather is supposed to get worse as the day progresses so you have to take your opportunities. Today I need to do some piano practice, to keep my fingers and brain in trim. Ruth Kerr and I have another recital, this time at St Michael’s Church on Sunday 22 August at 3pm. Our programme will include songs and duets from England, France, Italy, Czech Republic and the USA. A sort of musical holiday without leaving Lewes! We’d love to see you there.

Next week, the Lewes Singers are singing Evensong at Westminster Abbey on Friday 13th and Saturday 14 August. Evensong is at 5pm and lasts around 40 minutes. On Friday we sing Responses by Bernard Rose; A very long psalm (No. 106 – with 46 verses); Canticles by Charles Wood (in D); and Purcell: Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts. 

And on Saturday we are being a bit more adventurous: Rose responses again; a shorter psalm; Canticles by Kenneth Leighton – his 2nd service which is fabulous. It’s very quiet with lovely lyrical lines. We sang it a couple of years ago in Rochester Cathedral.  Leighton Magnificat  Then the anthem is John Ireland’s Greater Love hath on man.

Robin and I love visiting London – there are so many nice things to see. We are treating ourselves this time to a couple of nights at our favourite hotel: St James Court just off Victoria Road – a short walk from Westminster Abbey. It’s a very smart hotel, and expensive, but then staying in London hotels is pretty expensive, and we got a deal booking it early. We are also hoping to meet up with my youngest son, George, who has just spent the last two years in Berlin, and now returns to his job in the Treasury.

Then at the end of the month, I’m off to play the organ for a weekend of services in Portland/Weymouth with a friend of mine, James Thomas, who has put together the choir. I am going to give an organ recital while I’m there, on the Saturday afternoon.

We are really looking forward to having a week in Norfolk at the start of September. I don’t know Norfolk at all, other than Norwich. We have booked a cottage in Blakeney. There are some impressive looking National Trust properties in the area, and we have to visit Houghton Hall (not National Trust and also no relation of mine).

And then it’s back to start up the new season with choirs and music making. There’s plenty to be excited about. I’ll be directing the Brighton Orpheus Choir for the 2021/2 season. They linked up with the East Sussex Community Choir a couple of years ago for a very memorable Carmina Burana. Now their MD is taking a sabbatical and I’ve been asked to look after them.

My other choirs are all re-starting in September. Monday night: East Sussex Community Choir; Tuesday evening: Eastbourne Choral Society (I accompany them); Wednesday: Brighton Orpheus Choir; and Thursday evening: Brighton Singers. Then at the weekend, I squeeze in New Sussex Opera (Chorusmaster); Lewes Chamber Choir; and services at St Pancras and St Michael’s.

Well before I leave you, I’d better include a photo of Bobby, who many of you clearly have taken to heart. He’s well, ever more relaxed and currently asleep in the garden.





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