Sunday 23rd June
Well, that's it: all good things come to an end! Last night the wonderful Nottingham Bach Choir sang their hearts out in my final concert as their Musical Director - after 29 years at the helm. From the VW Mystical Songs, Parry's Blest pair of Sirens to Haydn's Little Organ Mass and Bach's exceptionally challenging Singet dem Herrn - all were sung accurately and stylishly, with expression in the romantic pieces, elegance in the Haydn and sparkling vivacity in the Bach. No conductor could have wished for more - nor for a more enjoyable and stimulating three decades with a choir. I wish all my friends in NBC the very best wishes for an exciting future with my popular and talented successor, Dr Peter Siepmann, to whom I - literally - passed the baton at the end of the evening. Au revoir, NBC!
Sunday 16th June
It has been a challenging week for our family. My lovely mother died, aged 93, on the same day that Notre Dame, Paris, burnt, my father having died (aged 98) at the end of 2017. On Thursday June 13th (their 72nd Wedding Anniversary) we buried their combined ashes in the peaceful Arboretum Cemetery here in Bingham, following a beautiful service in Southwell Minster, conducted by my old friend and colleague Canon Nigel Coates. Family and friends came together from all over the UK, from the USA and from Italy, so it was an amazing and enriching gathering. All went well, though we do now feel emotionally and physically drained, and it's odd - even at our age - being without parents.