A reading from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, at Christ Church Cathedral, Saint Louis, on Sunday, December 6, 2015.
12.30 a.m. I am in my hotel room south of Kansas City, sipping Freixenet Cava, too wired to think of sleep.
The day has been long and full, and exactly what Christmas Eve often is for me.
I breakfasted and played with Auggie. We listened to the service from Cambridge. I packed and showered. Auggie and I said our goodbyes.
I stopped by Costco for a ham for Christmas Day. And then I hit the road.
In Kansas City by 5, I checked into the Hampton Inn, changed into a jacket and wonderful bow tie, and drove north to Downtown. By 6 p.m. I was at dinner with John and Leona Schaefer and some other choristers. And suddenly it was time for choir rehearsal.
The Trinity Choir of Mixed Voices at Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral sang my new Christmas tune AUGUSTUS REX. And they sang my 2001 choral setting of “The Oxen.” I was delighted to sit in the congregation and be a parishioner tonight.
And now it’s Christmas Day. I shall, as always, listen to two recordings before sleep tonight:
- James Litton conducting the American Boychoir in “This Christmastide” by Donald Fraser, and
- Patrick Russill leading the choir of the Brompton Oratory (London) in Morton Lauridsen’s setting of “O magnum mysterium.”
And then I shall sleep.