Greetings from St. Louis, Missouri. After a gruelling early start in Pittsburgh, and not one but two flights to contend with, we were welcomed to the Gateway City with sunshine and warmth, and not a penguin in sight!
Our concert took place in the magnificent Basilica; a Roman Catholic Cathedral in the west end of town. Its towering exterior dominates the skyline, and the interior is no less impressive. Embellished with towers and domes of golden mosaics, it really is jaw-droppingly beautiful. But the real magic lies in the exquisite acoustic.
We were fortunate enough to be joined by the Rosati-Kain High School and St. Louis University High School choirs for a performance of Owain Park’s Footsteps. The combined choirs made a gorgeous, clear sound, and it was pleasure to give Owain’s piece its US premiere with these talented young singers.
For the main event the building delivered as promised. A 12-second echo is a dream for choral singers, and makes for a perfect venue for Joby Talbot’s ethereal lines in his Path of Miracles; the soaring soprano ostinato in Leon sounding particularly sweet. Its an endurance test at the best of times, and I for one always find it hard not to be swept up in the emotional journey of the piece. As I processed down the central aisle, listening to the final “Now and ever more” reverberating around the candlelit cathedral walls, I thought how incredibly lucky we are to perform in these wonderful places.
Next stop, Dallas, Texas…