By the time we met at the Haven Hills Chapel this morning, last night’s wind had turned into this morning’s gale. Were we really complaining about the heat just a few days ago? Silly, silly choir. Today’s kind of cold is seen around these parts every 25 years, with gale force winds that just about knocked us over, and rain coming down in solid sheets. Every time we needed to leave the bus to go anywhere, the rain spigot opened full force. We had very soggy Singers, and no real place or way to get warm and dry.

Then we arrived at the performance site, and found road construction prevented our parking closer than two blocks away. Of course, the rain noted our run and doused us thoroughly to and from the bus. It is a beautiful little cathedral, and all looked forward to the night’s performance.

Dinner was at the stake center nearby, and was delicious. Just as the first group of us sat down to eat, out went the electricity. Doors were opened to shine car headlights into the cultural hall (BRRRR!!) while the stalwart Saints served up the food and cleaned up; then came the fun of dressing for the concert in the complete dark. A few former Boy and Girl Scouts had flashlights, so the choir was at least able to find the right suitcase and concert attire. Make-up in the dark was interesting, to say the least. That part had to be finished on the bus by the reading nights. Pioneer women, as Dr. S. would say! We moved into the cathedral early to try to find warmth, but it was pretty chilly there. An open door behind the basses allowed them to see their breath during the concert, which thrilled them to no end. The audience warmed things up a bit, but the music had to do the rest. The Eastern Cape Children’s Choir sang Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols” to open the evening, and sang it well. Then the choirs changed places and Singers had the opportunity to sing their music in this beautiful setting with great acoustics to a full audience. A wonderful, if chilly evening all around.

St. Mary’s Cathedral in Port Elizabeth

Close up at St. Mary’s

Electricity was still out when we returned to the chapel to meet the host families, so that slowed housing assignments down a bit. Finally all were sorted out and on their way home to dry out and warm up.