I got the Wanderlust early on when my parents planned a three-month trip to Europe with four children aged 7-14 in tow.

My late husband and I made travel a priority in our lives, and we often found interesting ways to fashion extended trips around organ recitals, visits with friends, choir tours, or musical exchanges.

All of this was marvelous of course, but one thing in preparing for a long trip drove me around the bend. Whereas I would be fussing about and organizing my suitcase several weeks before the trip, Bruce would calmly leave his packing until the night before departure. Each and every time he would repeat this mantra, “If you forget to pack something you can always buy it over there.” And I invariably gave the same response “I don’t wish to spend my holiday in a shopping mall.”

This little dialogue was repeated before every journey, whether the destination was Gibraltar or Jakarta, Toulouse or Tewkesbury, Manhattan or Madeira. Difficult to say who was right or wrong, since when our luggage was lost for almost a week en route to Seville, we managed without any difficulty, lacking any of that baggage.

My current packing project prepares for Pax Christi Chorale’s tour of middle England. Since it is a concert tour, with a few church services and informal pop-up appearances, this involves packing fancy formal concert duds, church service uniform, informal performance gear, as well as hiking boots, rain apparel, swimming suits, compass, hairspray, CDs and of course, the voluminous
big black music folder, packed to the gills with Canadian music (Willan, Martin, Schafer, Tomlinson and Addison) as well as works by Rheinberger, Palestrina, Holst, Elgar, Parry, Randall Thompson, Tallis, and Mendelssohn.

Here’s our itinerary if you’re interested, and I shall be posting photos to Facebook regularly:
Queen’s College Oxford, July 24 (evensong)
Coventry Cathedral, July 25 (noon hour concert)
Worcester Cathedral, July 26 (noon hour concert)
Great Malvern Priory, July 26 (evening concert)
Ruddock Centre, Birmingham, July 27 (evening concert)
St. Mary the Virgin, Bath, July 29 (evening concert)
Gloucester Cathedral, July 31 (morning service and evensong)

We’re not singing all the time. We’ve planned a super tour for the choir which also includes hiking in the Malvern Hills (rain or shine) visits to the Elgar Birthplace, the Holst Museum, the Coventry Transport Museum tea at Highnam Court, and sight seeing in the Roman town of Bath.

We’ll also visit Birmingham Town Hall which hosted the premieres of Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Elgar’s The Apostles – these oratorios are special for us since they top and tail our 30th anniversary season, coming right up.

I’m afraid we will not be spending much time in the shopping mall, so I’d better get packing.

Pax Tour Choir 2106

Pax Christi Tour Choir 2016

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9 Responses to Packing

  1. Andrew Keegan says:

    Have a great trip! Look forward to seeing the photos… x

    • Stephanie Martin says:

      Thanks Andrew. We will try our best : ) We have four rehearsals a concert and an evensong before we even leave the country, so we should be well prepared.

  2. Marg Smith says:

    Hope you have a wonderful trip!! I’ll look forward to your FB posts.

  3. Sheila says:

    But there is one thing you can’t find in a shopping mall – at least I have never managed. Just what I forgot on my last trip, namely the electrical plug adapter! Fortunately two colleagues helped me out, as they travel with multiples.

  4. Jen woodcock says:

    don’t forget on get on the right ‘plane, unless you prefer NEW England…God Bless you all and a safe journey….XXXXXXX

    • Stephanie Martin says:

      Thanks for the tip! I don’t think we have any worries on that front. We’re in good hands with our tour organizers Ellison Travel

  5. Kathy H says:

    it sounds like a lovely trip for you and the choir…have the most maraelous time..and post pics please :)

  6. Doug Saunders says:

    Thanks for posting the itinerary, Stephanie! It’s exciting to know where you’re going! I found that the music gets better when you’re on tour, and the bonds of friendship tighten. Where are the concert and Evensong before you leave?

    Bon Voyage to Simon, the choir and you!
    May good weather be with you! Enjoy!

    Many Blessings,
    Doug

    • Stephanie Martin says:

      We sing Evensong at St. James on Sunday July 17th. At 4pm there is an organ recital by Andrew Ager, and then we sing the service which is 4:30 – 5:30. We’re singing an Introit by Mendelssohn, Palestrina Magnificat, Nunc Dimittis by Holst, healey Willan’s Gloria Deo per immense saecula, responses by Smith, and a psalm chant by one of our young choir members, John-Luke Addison. You should come!
      We’re also sharing a launch concert with Grace Church on the Hill who are also touring England this summer. That is Wednesday evening, July 20th. I’ll send you info for both on Facebook. Thanks for your support Doug! xoxo

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