On my last night in Philadelphia, I was severely challenged to fit everything in my suitcase, and I was up until 1:30 a.m. trying to fit everything I had picked up at the OHS convention. My Honolulu friend, Sam Lam, suggested that I try to mail all the books and pamphlets home, and I wish I had taken his suggestion. I had to set my alarm for 3:45 a.m. in order to take a taxi to the airport for a 6:05 a.m. flight to London! I’m not sure I ever went to sleep, but at least I got myself to the airport on time. When I finally boarded the plane, much to my dismay there was a family of six directly behind me (four children under the age of 7), and the youngest toddler, about two years old, was screaming at the top of his lungs for the first 30 minutes about being strapped in a seatbelt. Needless to say, I didn’t get much rest on the flight over, and checked into a London airport hotel for the night prior to my flight to Cork, Ireland.
I got to the hotel about 11:00 am, but my room would not be ready until 3:00 pm, so I had lunch and then spent the rest of the time dozing in the lobby. If you can believe this, Tim Carney had scheduled a rehearsal at St. Fin Barre’s this afternoon at 4:15 pm, so off we went via bus. There are 78 people on this trip, and 56 of them are singers with the rest of them non-singing family members. When I told the taxi driver about having a rehearsal on the first day of arrival, he said several times, “No rest for the wicked!” He couldn’t believe that I would have a rehearsal on this first day, either!
St. Fin Barre’s is part of the Anglican/Episcopal tradition, and is a large, beautiful stone church with fantastic acoustics. I set off to see about the organ and unfortunately we are not able to use the video monitor system because the camera is facing the wrong direction. So I had Eric Schank, the pianist, “shadow-conduct” during the rehearsal, and I think it’s going to work for the concert tomorrow.
Most all the other singers just flew in from Hawaii today, so their jet lag is a lot worse than mine since I was on the East Coast for a week. I’ve got to say, though, that the Hawaii Masterworks Chorus sounds absolutely fantastic in these reverberant acoustics! In fact, Tim Carney said, “You’d never know that I’m conducting a bunch of zombies!!”
When I flew into Ireland, I noticed right away all the greenery and picturesque countryside. The schedule is pretty light compared to our grueling marathon in Philadelphia, and I understand that we will be doing some sightseeing as part of our tour.