The St Mary’s Calne Chamber Choir Tour to Florida was an amazing success, and every single one of the girls on the tour, including our Upper Sixth Form lead violinist, who played fantastic solos and accompaniments as part of the concerts, was heartily in agreement that this past week has been amazing. The girls certainly saw Florida- from the sophistication of Naples to the ecologically driven activities of the Mote Marine Laboratory in Tampa, and from the popularity of the churches to the glitz of Miami, with places like Siesta Key and wildlife such as crocodiles and flamingos thrown in en route.
Most importantly, however, they experienced at first hand – as if they needed reminding, given that music is a passion for them – that singing and music have a power to unite people across cultures and continents. The standing ovations and high level of appreciation for the work of the girls in the services and concerts at which they sang were both gratifying and humbling – gratifying because it gave them proper recognition for all their hard work, talent and achievement; humbling because in the sounds that they produced, they had created something astonishing and moving which transcended the ability of each of them alone. The concerts were truly, truly beautiful, and no-one who attended them left unaffected or unchanged. The sounds reverberated around the churches, the schools and the concert venues, and reverberated also in the hearts of the audiences.
Music is incredibly powerful; beautiful music is incredibly and beautifully powerful. Faced with such a phenomenon, it is no wonder that Florida was wowed. There are days, as I have said before, when I am so, so proud to be a Headmistress of a wonderful school with wonderful girls. These past seven days most certainly count as some of those.
Of course … first step Florida, next step the world. Watch out, world!