This last summer I was in England. In a safe area of course, far away from cities and areas where the lockdown had been reinstated. Keeping a close eye on all the news reports and abiding by the rules, I dared to venture across. And I was very lucky indeed given that quarantine measures were reinstated shortly after my return!
It was a lovely week; lovely as it always is to be in England, savouring the atmosphere again and enjoying the beautiful countryside, black tea with milk, delicious cakes… just everything really. And then there’s the choir culture – all those wonderful colleges, choir schools, cathedrals. Sigh… I’d love to live there. But what a tragedy now that so much is in danger of being lost due to the huge impact the corona crisis is having on singing.
What made my week really special were the live meetings with the musicians I’ve been working with in the meantime: John Rutter, David Hurley and Bob Chilcott. I have organised online workshops with Bob and David in recent weeks and while we agree that online work is a good alternative, it doesn’t come close to singing together in the flesh. We are very concerned about what is going on now, but we’re also looking at what we can do to keep singing.
Meanwhile, the new season has started again. It will not start in the old, familiar way, but as we said in an earlier newsletter: “If you can’t do it the way you should, you should do it the way you can.”