Friday 21 October: Day 1

8.30 pm EST

I’m delighted to say that we finally arrived safe and sound (if rather tired) at St Andrew’s Church in Pittsburgh after 22 hours in a coach, on a plane or hanging around at airports. A good night’s sleep beckons…

Saturday 22 October: Day 2

It’s a new day and everything seems so much better after some sleep. It’s straight into rehearsal at 9 am at Calvary Episcopal Church and I can hear Langlais’s Messe solennelle wafting through the building as I write this.



After lunch, the choristers went off on a Ducky Tour. These use a World War Two amphibious vehicle known as a DUKW and go around the centre of Pittsburgh, which is at the confluence of three rivers.

That evening, the choir gave a concert in the church and received a standing ovation at the end.

Sunday 23 October: Day 3

This morning the choir sang Eucharist at St Andrew’s to a very appreciative congregation, and only two choristers managed to forget their robes. Lunch followed (pizza!), with a quick run around the garden afterwards. Rehearsal for Evensong is beginning in a few minutes, so more later.

Monday 24 October: Day 4

Today’s a travelling day, which got off to a very early start, leaving St Andrew’s at 7.15 am. Heavy traffic delayed the journey to the airport, and we made our flight by the skin of our teeth. We are now on the coach from Baton Rouge to Alexandria, and have passed lots of fields of sugar cane and a ‘nodding donkey’ oil well. You don’t see those every day in Herefordshire.

Your correspondent was fortunate enough to stay in a rather nice lake-house a few miles away from the town, and took the picture below early the following morning.

Tuesday 25 October: Day 5

Today we are giving a concert at St James Church in Alexandria. Rehearsal has just begun, and when it’s finished the choristers will be going off for a visit to the cinema to see Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. The gentlemen, meanwhile, will be visiting Kent Plantation House, which dates from 1796 and is a fine example of Louisiana’s colonial-era architecture.

Wednesday 26 October: Day 6

Today we had a long bus journey from Alexandria up to McKinney in Texas. St Peter’s is a striking church, built like the upside-down hull of a boat. The choir sang Evensong with a large and appreciative congregation, and after the service sang four of the unaccompanied Tudor anthems from the concert programme.

Thursday 27 October: Day 7

This morning we sprang a surprise on the choristers. Glenn Stroh, director of music at McKinney, also teaches at St Mark’s School in Dallas, and very kindly arranged for the boys to play a game of kickball with some of the boys from the school. After that we visited the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, where President John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. It was a really fascinating and absorbing place. Then back on the bus for the long drive to Houston.

Friday 28 October

Today the choir is giving a concert at St Martin’s Episcopal Church in Dallas which, with over 9,000 members, is the largest Episcopal congregation in the US. In the afternoon the choristers visited the Houston Museum of Natural Science, taking in the new exhibition about mummies, the paleontology hall and the exhibition of gems and minerals. The paleontology hall, as well as some amazing dinosaur skeletons (including the largest surviving triceratops in the world), had a fascinating feature on human evolution. Your correspondent was left wondering where the little-known species homo choristarus fitted into the grand scheme of things…

Saturday 29 October

Another travelling day, but going via the Houston Space Center, where we got up close and personal with a Saturn V rocket and the Space Shuttle.


Sunday 30 October

Dallas is the final destination on the tour, and the day began with Eucharist at the Church of the Incarnation. A concert followed in the afternoon, which was met with another standing ovation.

Monday 31 October

The time has come to say farewell and return home after another really enjoyable tour. Until next time…