Today was all about the music. The morning started with a lengthy workshop with David Flood and, after some more free time to explore Canterbury and eat, continued into the afternoon with additional rehearsals. The singers have been putting in some serious work, with the brilliant touch of Dr. Flood really rounding things into form.
The extra work really showed in their concert at St. Peter’s Methodist Church tonight. With Dr. Flood as guest conductor for a number of pieces, they absolutely brought the house down. Their energy and passion resulted in numerous large ovations, and two standing ovations. The give and take between audience and choir was extraordinary to watch.
For past concerts in France and Germany, Mrs. Herrington had asked our multi-lingual and multi-talented courier, Tassos, to translate the lyrics to Blessing aloud before the choir sang it, as parting well wishes sent out to the audience. She would read out a line of the song, and then Tassos would translate a line, and so on. Being in England, she of course didn’t need a translator this time, but had him come up as a joke to “translate” from English into German.
May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
As Tassos started his translation for the last line, he burst into tears and hugged Mrs. Herrington, at which point almost everyone in the audience and most of the choir also started crying while they sang Blessing. What a moment.
After the concert everyone was in extremely high spirits, running around, receiving thanks from the locals, greeting excited parents who’d made the trip, and taking pictures with Dr. Flood and each other. One group of old women even asked some of the girls for their autographs on the concert handouts. It was easy to feel that this was 100% the high point of the trip thus far. All the planning, hard work, and travel seemed to culminate into an unbelievable pinnacle for everyone involved and everyone in the audience.
We closed out the night by transferring by coach to London. Our hotel is right on Hyde Park, and, as we wove through the city, the coach drove past Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, and the Palace of Westminster. What a night.
We’re also running about one day behind with uploading video. Here’s a link to a video of the choir singing Ubi Caritas on their evening tour of the Canterbury Cathedral crypt:
- St. Peter’s Methodist Church
- Canterbury, England