The main news of the week is that I am within a whisker of finishing the first full draft of the symphony. I know that I had intended to finish it by today but real life and a little bit of urgent arranging got in the way. Even so, I have managed to complete the brass and percussion writing, correct a couple of errors and add some detail to the string parts, and get a quarter of the way through the winds. An hour or two over the next day or so and it should be ready to go off for printing and then proofing, which is very exciting indeed, definitely the beginning of the end of a long journey. At last.

It was also a good weekend for my music, as Jeremy Summerly, Rupert Jeffcoat and the choir of St. Luke’s Chelsea gave an exquisite first performance of my Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis on C. This is a piece I wrote a couple of years ago for a competition and then put aside, but it was selected for performance after I submitted it for the London Festival Of Contemporary Church Music. By the time it was performed yesterday I had forgotten almost everything about it, which made listening to its first outing a real thrill, especially in such capable hands.

Later today there will be a performance of An Exaltation Of Skylarks, also as part of the LFCCM, with the Gloria of the Missa Clemens following on Wednesday. Three performances of different pieces in four days is pretty good going by any standards, but when standards are as high as they were yesterday it is sheer delight.

There was movement on another front as well last week, as I was contacted by a local band who are looking for a keyboard player. It looks as though I might be able to slot in for a gig later in the year, which will be an opportunity to do a little more playing in a style of music different from that of RetroChic, more in the realm of straight-down-the-line rock covers. We shall see how things play out, as in terms of work my weekends are starting to approach saturation point, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

My guilty pleasure of the week was to settle down on Saturday night and watch the Eurovision song contest, although apart from the once-seen-never-can-be-unseen Croatian entry it was all a little bit humdrum – soggy ballads, anodyne dance music and *sigh* overwrought faux rock. I was sent scurrying to the internet to see if some of the bands I used to follow way back when were (a) still alive, and (b) possibly making music, and all I can say is that whatever Extreme have been drinking recently I want some of it. This is a band that sounds utterly invigorated, energetic, forceful and shorn of pretence, to say nothing of Nuno’s ridiculously phenomenal guitar playing, and by the time the UK entry had slipped to last but one I had found that rarest of things – a new album that I really am looking forward to hearing.