June 16: Tours – Eastern Europe 2008, St. John

Jon CurtisSeason of the Day, SOTD - June

As we headed west out of Prague, Czechia into the countryside, our tour bus completely took up the narrow roads on our way to an evening concert.  We were wondering who would show up in such a remote place?

To our surprise and delight, the small sanctuary was completely packed.  We were the first American choir to visit Svaty Jan pod Skalou (St. John under the Cliff).  They were so excited, that they had searched for Allan online and had purchased and were learning some of his pieces.

Once we had completed the concert they asked if we could sing anything more.  Allan said we did have some secular pieces, but their Bishop had instructed us to only sing religious music.  “Ignore him,” they said, so we continued with “Nelly Bly” and “Camptown Races,” even though we had not yet practiced them together.  (Because we were a choir made of up people from both northern and southern California, we were never able to rehearse together until we arrived at the tour destinations.)

Fortunately, we don’t have a recording of those two unrehearsed pieces!  But we do have this performance of Moses Hogan’s arrangement of “The Battle of Jericho”.