We – Parliament Choir – were back in our home venue for rehearsal last night for the first time since the start of the pandemic. For me, having stepped away for what was planned to be six months, it was the first time rehearsing in the undercroft chapel since the end of 2019, although I had done a little recording there at the very end of 2020, when London had been quiet and empty.
I said hello to the organ again, one of only two instruments that I greet, and within only a few minutes of our arrival it was as if we had never been away. If anything, people were much more bouncy than they had been for a while, the return to the home of the choir bringing with it the realisation that maybe the tribulations of the past couple of years are more or less over.
Those of us who were struck down by Covid over the summer swapped notes – Really? Me too? – but the evening was about getting back into Gerontius in preparation for a performance (maybe two) in April next year. We performed this piece a few years ago, and it seems that it has remained in the memory well, for we are already substantially further ahead in our endeavours that I thought we might have been at this point, all of which bodes well.
I had spent the morning in another stint of work, getting on with a couple of the new pieces and adding a rehearsal piano part to my new setting of O Nata Lux, which also led me to change two notes, always polishing. Having thought that it was done, I am now absolutely sure that it is maybe done. Yes, definitely maybe.
This weekend at Mary Abbots the St. Mary Abbots Jubilate will receive another performance at the church’s Patronal Festival in the building’s 150th year. This, combined with everything else, really does strike me as a fresh start, and, having almost forgotten what things were like before the storm, it does feel remarkably invigorating.