Yesterday represented something that I have not experienced a good long while, namely a full(ish) day of work, as we kicked off the series of online sessions in the morning with a deep dive into the Schumann Cello Concerto and then rounded off the evening with a Parly Choir rehearsal via Zoom, of course. Yes, I realise that these two appointments still left quite a hefty gap in the afternoon, but I am going to call it a day of work, and that is that.

The morning session was particularly fun, although I am still getting to grips with a couple of the inner workings of Zoom. However, I am learning as I go along and really feel that I can use the technology more effectively as I go along and bring a little more confidence with me as well. After all, I spent many years fighting various audio-visual setups in institutes of higher education over the years, almost all of which (the setups) were determined to misbehave, so one more holds no fears.

The evening run through the Sanctus of the Mass in b was also a joy, not least because it was the choir’s first opportunity to sing together for over a month, even if only virtually. Our last meeting was in the flesh, the Christmas concert tucked into the briefest of gaps between lockdown number two (remember that?) and Tier 4 being brought in for London (remember that?). It was only a few weeks ago, and yet it feels a world away, the more so given that any return to it seems further off than ever.

Still, music, as Clifford Curzon (I think) once said, is consolation for life, and yesterday was a day which demonstrated that to fullest effect, for even with the restrictions and glitches and dropouts of Zoom, the impression was definitely of people who wanted to be there, who were thriving on the opportunity of being together and doing together, even if only virtually. It will have to do for now.

From today, though, the tumbleweed rolls gently across the arid remains of my diary, so I shall be getting on with my own writing, doing a deep dive into the music of Amy Beach, and trying my best to make a virtue out of necessity. We need to cling to the good stuff.