All around the country this afternoon choral societies are putting the final touches to the works they've been rehearsing for weeks. They've been joined by orchestral players and soloists and there's a palpable feeling of excitement in the air. I'm lucky enough to be part of this wonderful tradition - unique to this country - as part of my work is to find vocal soloists for these concerts. This afternoon I've driven around the Cotswolds first to Malmesbury Abbey and now to Shipston on Stour. There's another rehearsal just up the road in Rugby where Daventry Choral Society are giving the second performance of a new piece by Patrick Hawes commissioned to celebrate the choir's anniversary. How lucky am I to share in all this music making.
Jill Davies has spent most of her life immersed in music, from sitting under the piano while her mum gave lessons to taking up the ukulele a couple of years ago. She's an agent (mainly for singers) by day, has a personal record of going to 12 concerts in 3 days, and can't decide whether it's more fun to sing Elgar partsongs or play Gibbons viol consorts.