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The Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir gave two great renditions of I Hear, And Am Elated on the Isle of Wight yesterday, once in their evening concert of choral music at All Saints, Ryde, and once in the rehearsal.  When it was first put in front of them in 2011 it was probably the first piece of contemporary music they had performed in some time, but now it really seems to have settled in.

We also performed an arrangement of As I Went Out One May Morning by my colleague and fellow composer Paul Ayres, who was playing the organ and piano for us.  Paul is a hugely versatile musician, and his arrangement is individual and enticing.  We have also taken the opportunity to catch up on compositional news while on the island.

Talking of catching up, one of our guest singers yesterday was a chap I have known for 35 years (can it really be that long?), so we chatted until quite late into the night, but that, and associated drinks, meant that I slept through my alarm this morning.  I still managed to get the important business of the day done, however, involving five hours of travel, but it does mean that my composing session gets shifted until tomorrow.

From Monday things calm down for a while, and I am already planning the remainder of the year.  I feel reinvigorated in my writing, and have gleaned a couple of attitudinal nuggets from my reading of Motor Sport on the train this afternoon.  I think that my composing and, glad to say, my conducting continue to improve with time, and I really want to build on that.

Of course, it goes without saying that the Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir continue to improve as well, and performed superbly last night, in my piece, in Paul’s and in the others as well.  The audience was not as big as it could have been, but the power of our performance had blown the clouds and rain away by this morning.