I was away for a few days last week, which put a bit of a hole in my plans for the symphony, but I did still manage to make some progress, and must admit that I am enjoying the process of refining all the details. There is a great deal of work to be done and I am still in two minds about the most effective approach which will result in the fewest errors, but it continues to push on towards the goal.

Now that I am back from my little jaunt away I need to redouble my symphonic efforts and also get back to work on the new orchestral piece, although this week does herald the beginning of a slightly busy patch. I do feel that I have spent the last couple of months moderately wisely, though, in terms of getting prepared for what lies ahead, so hopefully I shall not end up being overwhelmed.

I’ll be directing the Occam Singers on Saturday at our concert in Guildford, which is something I have been looking forward to for a while, so if you happen to be in the area then please do consider coming along to support us. It is a light and vibrant programme of effervescent works, and the choir is producing a great sound, so it should be well worth your time if you decide to attend.

The days are also ticking down before Parliament Choir and various guests perform The Dream Of Gerontius in Rome, which may well be the first performance in Italy since Barbirolli conducted the work in 1957. In fact, it may very well be only the second ever performance of the piece in the country, which is quite some thing to be involved with. Again, this is sounding pretty feisty and it promises to be a truly memorable experience. Before then there is a Maratona weekend in Anghiari, plus Easter with all of the music that entails, but it is all good stuff, all the right kind of work that I want to be doing.

Best of all was being able to reconnect with a couple of old friends over the past week, one via email and one in person. The former appears in my inbox from time to time, and I always receive those missives with great pleasure, while the latter was somebody I have not seen for perhaps twenty five years, but the sudden death of Paul Sartin last year who, it transpired, lived only a few minutes off my regular A303 commute, nudged me to get in touch when I was in his area, and I am glad I did. We are clearly both much changed from the people we were way back when, but in a manifestly positive way, which is not a bad thing at all.