We awoke to a brilliant blue sky today, with a strong wind that has mostly kept the clouds moving through quickly. Our coach arrived in Norwich (say it without the “w” and you’ll be close) soon after 11 a.m. after another drive through beautiful green fields and blossoming trees and flowers. It’s fun to just sit and watch the countryside go by.
Our well-organized sponsors (and lunches) greeted us at the LDS chapel. Next was a short workshop at the local junior high school, where we found that “Glee” has escaped the USA borders. It was interesting to see the kids in their school, and get a little feel for their educational system. There was some singing for one another, and a bit of collaborative singing and questions.
Then we were off to see some of historic Norwich, a Norman city. We were told that at one point Norwich had a church for every week of the year and a pub for every day. I’m not sure which is in official ascendancy now, but we did pass more churches than pubs on our walk today. We spent an hour at the Norwich Castle Keep, which was built between 1095 and 1110. It was used as a prison for about 500 years after it fell out of favor as a castle for the king; then was bought by the city in 1887 to be used as a museum. We toured it with a very knowledgeable and kind gentleman who was quite an expert on the castle; we quite enjoyed our time with him. We then split up into small groups to wander the town, enjoying the market that has been in the central city since about 1070. I marvel at the dates even as I type them. It really is a charming city, with lots of antique stores and other shops. If smiles and some shopping bags are any indication, the choir had a good afternoon discovering the town, the cathedral, and handing out our cards advertising the concert tonight.
After the standard rehearsal to figure out the logistics of a new hall and rehearse the pieces for tonight’s concert, we headed to dinner. A plus tonight was harp accompaniment on “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need,” provided by Zoe Rasmussen, the LDS music teacher at the school where we did the workshop earlier today. The concert will benefit Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind.
Tonight’s concert programmed yet more literature that the choir had not performed yet, plus what we recognize now as audience favorites. I enjoy watching their faces as they recognize the two hymns that hold such significance for them, and now for us as well. It was a very good concert, and it was obvious that the audience really did enjoy it. We heard many excited, thrilled comments from them as we were waiting for the choir’s hosts to be announced. (While the hall may look a little empty below, over half of the audience liked the acoustics in the upper seats better than on the ground.)
Our president, Scott Moore, has the system down now, and in no time at all they were off to meet new families and enjoy their gracious hospitality for the night. We know how lucky we are to be touring, and are so very grateful to the LDS wards and stakes who make it possible. Today’s sponsor, Norwich England Stake, kept us on the run today seeing their very fascinating town, fed us often and well, and then provided a wonderful concert venue – then taking us into their homes. How could we ask for anything more?