Easter etc.

So, Easter happened. As usual, we had a busy schedule of choir commitments, to which I added an extra evening by volunteering to masquerade as a chorister on Maundy Thursday. We also invited some friends around for Easter lunch after the two morning services, which meant the usual mad shopping-cleaning-cooking rush on top of everything else – as usual I complained about it all, but of course it was a lot of fun on the day.

We have a new(ish) director of communications at the church, and she’s doing a great job creating a lot more content around all the things that go on there. As far as the choirs are concerned this means that we seem to be featuring in a lot more photographs these days, and even the occasional video as well. This recording of us all singing on Palm Sunday is not one of my favourite pieces, but we sound really good, and it’s been viewed over 22,000 times on Facebook! I’ve also swiped the following photo from the Easter Vigil service, because I was too busy juggling candle and music (and concentrating, of course) to take any of my own:

Easter vigil

Otherwise, we’ve been keeping busy with all the usual things, Tom has been madly busy preparing for his big company conference next week, and I’ve started a new volunteer job in one of the libraries at the Metropolitan Museum (about which I’ll write more soon).

Despite all this, we’ve been managing to find the time for all kinds of cultural activities as well. I’ve been to four concerts – three settings of the ‘Passion’ text by Bach, Pärt and MacMillan, and an evening of chamber music from the East Coast Chamber Orchestra. Tom only came to the Pärt – I was mostly ushering at the others so he declined – and I joked that I hardly ever get to go to concerts which I actually want to hear as I’m always busy ushering or supporting friends. However, not only were the three Passions very good in their own ways, but the ECCO concert was wonderful. The first piece they performed, Christopher Theofanidis’ A Thousand Cranes, was just exquisite – there’s an extract on youTube at this link – so I was thrilled to be in the audience, especially as I may not otherwise have chosen to be there.

I’m happy to report that theatre has also featured in our calendar for once. Last Saturday we saw a fantastic little play by Scottish actor-writer Gary McNair, A Gambler’s Guide to Dying (this review is well worth a look, and saves me having to write more!), then on Monday we went to a screening of the National Theatre’s wonderful current production of Twelfth Night (Guardian review here). This coming Friday is particularly exciting as we have tickets to see Renée Fleming in Der Rosenkavalier at the Met – a long-awaited treat!

We’ve also had a few meals out, including one particularly fun dinner at a little Japanese place in midtown, the Lucky Cat. Not only do they have a great menu and tasty sake, but the restaurant also contains a larger-than-life lucky cat, perfect for silly photo opportunities…

lucky cat

Edited to add: Just in case we weren’t sounding spoiled enough already, I just remembered we went to yet another concert which I forgot to mention earlier! It was an Armenian evening in the recital space at Carnegie Hall, with five young(ish) artists playing a program of music for piano, violin and cello. It was very good indeed, but the standout piece of the evening was Sollima’s Lamentatio, composed as a memorial to the 1915 Armenian genocide. I couldn’t find a recording of the cellist we heard playing it, but this video on YouTube is very close to my memory of it.

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