I have made myself slightly unwell through lack of sleep and sitting for too long in front of the computer screen, but thanks to the attentions of Dr. Lemsip and my other half I appear to have ridden out the threat of going down with something nasty. At around half past one yesterday afternoon my labours came to fruition, both We Three Kings and awhile awandering finished enough to be considered ready for today’s Parliament Choir concert, which will include the first performance of both these pieces. If truth be told, the organ part for the latter is not quite ready, but, as I will be playing that myself, I view it as fairly low on the list of priorities, and it could easily be sorted out with a pencil at some point over the next twenty four hours.

I feel as if I have emerged blinking into the sunlight from a period of time spent walking along a very, very long tunnel, but I must admit that I am pretty pleased with having written, arranged and set awhile awandering pretty much from a standing start last Friday morning. Given that there has been a full schedule of work since then, and that I have also had to spend time on the three kings, I am pretty happy with the result, and am really excited about hearing it in situ tomorrow.

I will be back at St. John’s on Friday for Chapelle du Roi’s performance of my Nunc Dimittis, and next Monday will bring with it the first performance of He Makes His Messengers Winds, written for the Royal Corps of Signals. Further performances keep arriving of Sweet Was The Song as well, and I’ll be wheeling out the organ version of awhile for a first performance at St. Mary Abbots on Christmas Day, although I am sorely tempted to run it before then.

My focus needs to shift pretty sharply onto a couple of other projects now, most importantly Why Should We Not Sing?, which is lined up for a prestigious premiere on the 17th January, with plans already afoot for a repeat performance. I shall probably spend the rest of the week tidying up one or two aspects of this, and making sure that the parts are ready to be sent out at least a month before the performance. I like to be ahead of deadlines, where possible.

Despite some drudgery over the past few days, especially where repetitive tasks of computer setting are involved, it has been a real joy to get away from writing lecture notes and spend some quality time together with my brain, putting new pieces together from scratch. There is always something very special about creating something from nothing, even an arrangement, always that frisson of pleasure when it is finished and then heard for the first time. Don’t forget that you will be able to judge for yourself just how successful my efforts have been, for Classic FM will be broadcasting the concert on Christmas Eve. Listen out as well for David Terry’s wonderful arrangement of Entre Le Boeuf. Regular readers of this blog might find it hard to believe, but it’s not all about me…