One of the great joys of being on the road whilst embracing the site slogan of "here, there, everywhere and some other places too…:is that you leave yourself open to just about anything. So on the face of it Friday 5th of April was just another day it turned out to be very memorable in the strangest way. Bear with me while I explain.
As you will recall if you have been following along, we went to the tiny village of Monteton a couple of nights ago to meet up with Catherine the erstwhile restraunteur in Sainte Foy la grande who had moved to a new location in Monteton. Well, as Ji Hye had a free weekend we persuaded her to come over to us for another few days. First item on the agenda was a trip back to Monteton as its beauty and simplicity was sure to catch her architectural eye. It did. We spent some time admiring the church, the little square, the viewing gallery, pictured in the earlier blog and the narrow streets. It truly is stunning. One thing different from the previous night was the fact that the car parking facilities in the square were pretty well filled up yet very few people were to be seen.
Suddenly the sound of choral music wafted through the air, clearly coming from the church…It sounded really good. My head reckoned evening mass, yet this was a Friday and it was about 7:30pm.
Nothing daunted I strolled across and into the church for a peep and what happened instantly became a highlight of the trip to date.
Truthfully I had expected some sort of service with a prerecorded choral background but NO! I had stumbled upon something quite amazing.
Standing at the back of the small church I had gate crashed the choir practice of Anglican Choir of Monteton Church. Nothing odd about that you may think but I counted 16 choir members and the conductor. So out came the I-Pad and I started to record the sounds and in no time at all I was chatting to the Choir Master/Conductor.
The story is wonderful. Marjorie Holdsworth-Etschmann is the 4th conductor in the choir's 30 year history and there are typically between 16 and 22 members. Now, the thing that struck me when I first saw the choir in action was the fact that there were older people and younger people mixing within it. To my astonishment Marjorie informed me that the age range was from 9 to 92!!
They live for their performances doing different services each month in different churches as well as sundry concerts.
They are all British with strong french connections and all live in the region, some travelling up to 45 minutes just to attend practice. One could not help to be moved by their collective enthusiasm and their undoubted ecumenism.
They kindly posed for a group picture and Marjorie joined us for a chat (see picture) at Catherine's restaurant and the evening soared in our "Memorable nights" list.
After all that why not listen for yourselves with apologies for the quality…Its the best my I-Pad could do.
monteton choir (Click on the name) When we got home and turned on the TV to catch up with the nights news there was Ant and Dec reminding us that Britain's Got Talent is coming soon…Sorry lads, its here already.