No room at the Inn (well, the church anyway)

Julia Bishop

Hurrah! Our concert on Sunday was a sellout – we lined up extra chairs and tried to get everyone in, but I did actually have to turn about 5 or 6 people away, which was such a shame, although they took it really well. What a buzz. It was so exciting to see St Michael’s full, with all the candles, and the string quartet, it was magical. I think we sang really well, it was just so enjoyable and even the tricky moments seemed easy and wonderful, including the ‘surprise’ encore which wasn’t on the programme (OK, that was my idea!) Lots of lovely comments from the audience and even afterwards on Twitter – I’ve put them up here, in the time-honoured tradition of bragging!

So many thankyous are due – to all the singers, of course, who give their time and dedication to coming to rehearsals, learning and performing the music so brilliantly, plus helping with everything from getting posters put up around to town to shifting chairs and music stands on the day, gathering up music, lighting candles and helping serve drinks. Longstanding helpers Nicola and Rob lent us their essential calm and efficiency on the night, and Churchwarden Ann was on hand all evening. Julia Bishop and the players gave the performance such a lift – Julia is such a patient and sensitive player (and TEAM player, even more to the point) and the least diva-esque of anyone I know with the qualifications for that title!

Nick is so tired after working every single day (and many of the evenings!) for the last 6 weeks or more. He was doing the vacuuming about an hour ago but it’s gone all quiet upstairs, so I expect he’s taking 40 winks – which is fair enough as he still has to play for Midnight Mass this evening and Mass tomorrow morning before he can properly relax.

We’ve already been discussing the next concert – probably next September, following on from our stint at Westminster Abbey. I’m now signing off for 2014 now – Happy Christmas and there’ll be more from us in the New Year.

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