So, week two of Life Part II was almost a rerun of week one – Parliament Choir rehearsals Monday and Tuesday, concert Wednesday and then the drive home. Getting back to Somerset is lovely for so many reasons, but even more so when there is a bottle of local cider in the fridge along with some snackage from the organic deli in the High Street. I feel bad comparing Shepton with Mitcham once more, but yet again it’s a point to the West Country lads.
So it is late at night and I am winding down both from the drive, but mainly from the stunning Parliament Choir concert at St. John’s, Smith Square this evening. It was a good run for me, the first performances of my arrangements of The Angel Gabriel and It Came Upon The Midnight Clear (the latter’s impact all the more poignant thanks to a wonderful solo quartet), and the second performance of the full arrangement of awhile awandering, slightly revised and for the better, I would say.
I think that most choirs would balk at the idea of performing a Verdi Requiem and a carol concert within a week of each other, but it is testament to just how good the Parly Choir now is that we can not only take on these challenges, but also square up to them and overcome them. Still, don’t take my word for it – listen to Classic FM on Christmas Day at 5 and judge for yourself, but, really, you should have been there.
The choir also seems to be enjoying itself very much these days, and that is wonderful to see and hear. I think that people who imagine that it is just some kind of singing club might be surprised at just how well they perform, and much of the credit for that is due to Simon Over, of course, the choir’s Music Director since its creation. I am fortunate indeed in having the choir turn to me first for pieces and arrangements, and they seem to enjoy singing my music as well, which all goes to help. Soon I need to get scribbling on a new piece for the March concert, which will be somewhat different from the carols.
The past month has flown by in a blur and I cannot believe that this is how things will be from now on. I need to remind myself every now and again that the last weeks have been exceptionally busy even without factoring in the pre-Christmas rush, but the next few days will be about recharging batteries and maybe seeing if I can find another bottle of that lovely cider.
Lastly, people have said some really kind things about me and my music over the past few days, things that have genuinely taken me aback. I am always striving after the next goal, the next piece, and only rarely stop to consider where I am. I am not a fan of resting on laurels and never quite feel that I have done enough, so it is rare that I pat myself on the back, and it takes me a little by surprise when people say things that I think are so much more than I deserve.
Thanks, then (again, I know, yet again), to all who support my writing and my strivings in this field. Hard to think that I have had three pieces performed today and that they will be broadcast. That they were performed so brilliantly and so committedly is worth more than gold.