Wednesday, August 13
... How far is it to Bethlehem? ... Not Very Far ...
We took two coaches from the Hotel to the Nativity Cathedral, via McDonalds where we ordered Happy Meals for 85 (some Chicken McNuggets, some Cheeseburgers, some Hamburgers) and 13 meals for our Veggies, Vegan and other problem cases. This was the fattiest meal so far and the McDonalds was covered in old-fashioned boards and adverts like the "original" restaurants. The Cathedral was beautiful and the organ made some wierd noises [ed: 32' reed and flue caused the choir stalls to shake rather violently]. We rehearsed for two-and-a-half hours before going to a Pizza place where there was lots of salad, or more importantly pizza and pasta. Mr Bell worked really hard negotiating a great group discount.
At the concert people had to stand at the back, so we think there were about 400 in the audience, and at the end everyone stood up as they were applauding us. The concert lasted 2 hours and I'm shattered. After the concert we had a party in the Hall with the audience who bought nearly $650 worth of CDs!!!! My favourite piece was the Gloria from Missa omnes Sancti which we're singing again on Sunday morning on the live broadcast. "I was glad" was pretty good, too, really loud with the all the girls, boys and men and the organ blasting out. Hopefully a good night's sleep and more good breakfast before we're off to New York. The Rector has cool sunglasses! S.J. (Boy Chorister - I'm in the middle)
[Ed: Many, many thanks for Mr Dean and especially Canon Russell Jackson, Precentor and Director of Music for inviting us - he went to Bethlehem straight from All Saints, where he had been Director of Music. Thanks also to all those who so lavishly fed and watered us at the reception afterwards.]