Magnificent Mistakes

No major ‘Jesus was baptised by Jordan in the John’ mistakes this morning, and the choir numbers were back up to healthy level. We sang ‘Listen sweet dove’ (Ives) unusually quietly, which became quite unnerving when I couldn’t hear the other parts from where I was standing.

I had a horrid premonition that something would go wrong at Evensong when the choirmaster, during the pre-service practice, said ‘Oh you know the Wood in D Magnificat, we don’t need to practise that!’ Come the appropriate time in the service he – together with half the choir – started off at one speed, the rest of the choir at quite another. Fortunately, after the first phrase, we managed to reach a compromise and the rest of the canticle sounded fine. But it was a close call. The perils of singing without a conductor are quite severe at times…. We took extra care with the Nunc Dimittis, the Sweeney responses and the anthem (‘O for a closer walk’ – Stanford) to make sure there were no other glaring mistakes.