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It would be wrong to tempt fate, but we had a really positive Occam Singers rehearsal last night, which was good news not just for Parry, Britten, Stanford, Farmer, Cavendish and Bennet, but also for me, my two arrangements (Through The Fair and Military Medley) sounding resplendent as the choir began to inhabit the mood as well as the note. It also served as a reminder that the notes themselves can only take a composer so far, and that the right group of performers needs to do the rest.

With a quieter couple of days on the work front ahead of me it is time to put the final touches to version one of Everyone Sang. It seems as though the first performance for this might be in September or October, so there is plenty of time for me to put it aside and come back to it with fresh eyes and ears, ready to criticise what I have already written.

Meanwhile, in the background, I am beginning to get excited about my visit to the US, and there are small signs here and there that something is stirring on the other side of the ocean with regard to my music. Granted, it is an email here and a blog follower there, but it is enough to raise my spirits. I have also managed to glean some information about some of the best places to eat and drink in Nashville, so I am beginning to feel prepared.

The next few days will really be a calm before a storm, so, while I would like to dive wholeheartedly into my writing, I shall need to put some quality time aside to spend with my various housemates. Next week will be a whirl of Commonwealth Carnival, the American Guild of Organists and the Occam Singers, with performances, publications and several different time zones thrown in, followed in moderately swift succession by the final preparations for the Anghiari Festival. It will be a thrilling time, especially if my buoyant mood keeps up.

August will be quieter, and I have to admit that the thought of a month when I can dedicate myself more fully to my writing is something to savour. Holidays are a good thing, but for me they are also an opportunity to indulge more, well, indulgently in the things I enjoy. Changes in circumstances from last year mean that 2012 will see a – I can hardly bring myself to type the word – “staycation” for me and mine, but I have my fingers crossed that it will be a hugely productive time, and I hope to use it to get ahead on writing, chase up some new contacts and keep pushing. It will also be an opportunity for reflection on how the past year has gone since I typed that first blog entry. Almost the only thing which has remained the same is the appalling weather.