So I joined this choir, right? I did tell you?
Partly to meet folk, partly for therapy. I like music. I like singing. It's good for me, though less good for my family...
Anyway I joined the choir, I think, in February. They were in the throes of preparing two choral pieces for a concert in October. The pieces are the Mass by Peteris Vasks, a living Baltic composer who's the son of a Baptist pastor, and Bach's cantata no. 4, Christ lag in Todesbanden.
I have had a ball. The Vasks is dense, swirly, a bit complex harmonically and rhythmically, you have to read and keep your wits about you. The Bach I have sung before, in 1978, when I was a student, in the Aberystwyth Bach Society Choir. It's great fun. Easier harmonically but still you need to read is well and keep alert. Non-trivial.
The conductor is great. He's cheerful, happy, appreciative, musical, disciplined without being too severe and generally extremely likeable.
And the choir has been glad to have me. I'm probably the youngest baritone by several years, and men are scarce in choirs in France. Not only that but I can read music, sing more or less in tune and understand and obey a conductor's instructions.
Then I saw the date of the concert. Sunday 1st October.
It's a Sunday. And it is the last Sunday of our mission week.
Oh well, maybe after the service I'll be able to scuttle up to Mérignac where the concert is taking place and it'll all work out OK. I had to do that once in Aber, though I did feel a ninny attending church in black bowtie and jacket.
Then I saw the time of the concert. It starts at 5pm.
5pm is the time of our service.
We had rehearsal last night - working on "Es war ein wunderlicher Krieg".
They didn't ask. I didn't tell them.