It’s just over a year since I turned up to St Gabriel’s Pimlico on a brisk Tuesday evening for my first Cantus rehearsal; I still have yet to ask whether my audition was actually okay or whether they were just feeling very generous! At the end of that first rehearsal, the subject of Cantus’ fast-approaching tour to Barcelona was raised. Somewhat timidly (my fellow Cantus members will no doubt question my use of this adjective in retrospect), I approached Dom to ask some more questions about this tour. After all, to be asked to go on tour/holiday with a bunch of 30 strangers having met them less than two hours ago is rather daunting. I was suitably well persuaded and couldn’t convince myself of any reason not to go, so the conversation ended with me asking “where do I sign up?!”
Never have I been more glad to have thrown myself into something.
The Cantus tour to Barcelona came straight after a weekend of pure elation for me, having seen my beloved Watford FC promoted to the dizzy heights of the Premier League on a sunny afternoon in Brighton. With this fresh in the memory, I stepped on the plane and joined my new Cantus colleagues for what must have been one of the hottest May bank holiday weekends in Barcelona’s history (I’ll never forget Dom climbing up the hills at Parc Güell on the last day in his full suit: a mis-judged outfit choice to rival any other).
I would like to think I made an impression on my new found Cantus friends other than my attempts to teach them all my favourite Watford chants (somewhat successfully I’m hastened to add), but I think the only reason they took to me was because I had two old university friends out there who became Cantus groupies for the weekend, guaranteeing at least 2 people in each audience for our concerts (shout out to Jack and Steve-née-Rob for winning me some newcomer points)...
See photos below of our packed out performances at the stunning Montserrat Abbey and Sagrada Familia (yes, in the very Basilica itself):
Nevertheless, Barcelona 2015 will live long in the memory and was the perfect start to what has been an extremely enjoyable just-over-a-year with Cantus. Cantus has not only given me some great friendships, but also provided me with a musical community and family in London to rival the one I had at university – probably the one thing I had missed most since moving back to London.
Next up.... Slovenia Tour 2016! Excited would be an understatement.