Some of our families and friends know that the St. Peter’s Choir has been preparing for quite a while for the trip to London to sing at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Some others only just learned about the trip through the blog or other updates from choir members. No matter how you heard about the trip, it’s natural to ask how we got to this point.
We received an invitation a couple years ago to be Choir-In-Residence at St. Paul’s when we were under the direction of Peter Hopkins. Soon after we received the invitation, Peter moved on to another church position, and our rector at the time, the Rev. Ledlie Laughlin, was called to a different parish. The folks at St. Paul’s Cathedral were gracious in understanding that preparing for such a trip would be almost impossible during such a time of transition for the choir and parish. Once Claire was installed as our rector and Dr. Roland came onboard as the music director at St. Peter’s, the second invitation came for St. Peter’s to serve as a Choir-In-Residence during August 2017. We accepted and began our preparations for this honor.
There’s an old question-and-answer joke: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice!” The same is true for a choir who will lead music and worship at St. Paul’s. Our choir has rehearsed most Thursday evenings September 2016 through June 2017, and almost every one of those rehearsals included at least one piece of music that would become part of our repertoire for St. Paul’s. We also scheduled and sang Evensong at St. Peter’s once in most of those months. This past week, we gathered for three extra rehearsals: Saturday morning and Monday and Wednesday evenings.
In addition to the musical preparation, we had to work out the logistics of getting such a large group of people to London, accommodations while we’re there, and a “zillion” other little details that go into such a group trip. Marilyn MacGregor, Dr. Roland, Nora Adelmann, and Matt Boatmon have all put in a lot of effort to make it all happen.
Almost as important as the music and the logistics is the financing of the journey. All choir members are contributing toward the trip, and we also did some major fundraising to help defray the other costs. Peggy Hatch, Gail Hauptfuhrer, and Nora Adelmann headed a committee who oversaw the organ-and-movie nights and other fundraisers this past year. We also received very generous support from 1812 Productions (a Philadelphia comedy-theatre production company) who donated the proceeds from a recent show to the “St. Paul’s Fund.”
It’s almost impossible to thank everyone who participated in many ways, large and small, to make this Choir Residency possible. If we forgot to mention your name, it’s not because we aren’t grateful, it’s because we would end up thanking everyone we know and love for all their support as we have prepared for this trip! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!