Double Choir, Double Pleasure

Our focus for the day was going to Evensong at St. Thomas on Fifth Avenue. However, in the morning we enjoyed going to the church we belonged to for 50 years.  We sang the anthem with the choir and went down to sit in the congregation for the rest of the service.

Friend Ruth left church with us, and we drove to Manhattan from Long Island. As John wove through city streets, he directed daughter Kate uptown via phone as she came from New Jersey. How he could do that is totally beyond me. We pulled into the parking garage closest to St. Thomas, and Kate was right behind us. We hurried to the church, knowing there would be a crowd. The boys and choral scholars of Kings College Cambridge were singing evensong with the St. Thomas choir of men and boys. It was going to be a fantastic worship treat.

033119 At St Thomas Ruth Kate JC David.JPG
Ruth, Kate, John, and David inside St. Thomas church

The choirs rehearsed an hour before the service began. In the photo below, Daniel Hyde was directing the double choir. He stood out wherever he was, because he is 6’10” tall. Mr. Hyde is the current director of the St. Thomas choir.

033119 Daniel Hyde directing St Thomas and Kings.jpg

We were interested in seeing Stephen Cleobury, who has directed the English choir since 1982. He is retiring, and Daniel Hyde will be taking his place. I zoomed in on the man as he sat listening to the choirs. Both of the men are world-class musicians, at the highest peak of liturgical church music.

033119 Stephen Cleobury dir of Kings College Cambridge choir.jpg

If you’d like to hear this service, go to Click on “Calendar”, click March 31, 2019 and scroll down to Festal Evensong. I know you won’t be able to pick out our voices, but we four were singing all the congregational hymns. The bishop who was preaching lost the screen that had his sermon. He controlled his panic and soon has the words in front of him again. David and I listened to the broadcast and found they edited out this painful interlude.

We went to a classic New York diner in Queens for a light meal. John chose it because it was near the best road for Kate to use to go home. After eating, he talked her through the route as he drove in the opposite direction.

033119 JC Kate David Ruth at diner in Queens.JPG
John, Kate, David, and Ruth in the diner

22 thoughts on “Double Choir, Double Pleasure

  1. What an entertaining evening and then rounded off nicely by something at a diner. Why would one choir be named the English choir. Is there a different style of singing in that choir?
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx


    1. The two choirs sound similar. Both directors are from England. St. Thomas is in Manhattan, and Kings, of course, comes from Cambridge, England. We went to evensong at Kings once when we lived in England.

      xxx Kingly Hugs xxx


  2. You are brave soles venturing into the heart of Manhatten in a vehicle. There are not many sane folks who would do so. Last week on the way back from CT via 9W to GW bridge, making good time I might add, things came to an abrupt halt as I circled upward to cross over into NJ. Two cars ahead of me, all traffic was blocked as a large flatbed truck with traffic cones, workers atop and on a rear platform began putting the cones out blocking the right lane. They were followed by a flashing NYPD vehicle to protect them. It was all of a 25 minutes trip behind this parade leading group to the NY/NJ Line atop the GW. Isn’t there a saying somewhere, “I love NY”, NOT! Shall listen to the music later today. I’m enjoying your trip.


              1. I can too – as a matter of fact I am ready to go to bed now – I am caught up on comments/Reader and e-mail, so doing to seize the opportunity to go to bed early … I wish I had John’s stamina!


                  1. I went early as I know today would be a long day — Robb is still in negotiations and three days next week. I had a lot of accounting stuff to do – got behind as we’ve been so busy. We never get the invoices out as late as the 5th of the month, unless 4th of July weekend fell over a weekend. I didn’t want my eyes running together from lack of sleep. You miss Reader one day, you are behind – two days and you’re sunk. You’ll be similarly bleary eyed!


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