TMS Tour of the South of France – report and photos

We have recently returned from this year’s tour, which saw performances in Aix-en-Provence, Nice and Monaco. Aix is an elegant historic town, and we enjoyed an “a cappella” concert with Ensemble Vocal Agathe, a local ladies’ choir.

In the elegant resort of Nice, we performed a shared programme with the excellent “Ensemble Vocal La Sestina”, before performing two works together. We were greatly encouraged by the audience’s enthusiastic response, and cemented friendship with La Sestina’s members by sharing a late night picnic overlooking the Promenade des Anglais.

Our one-day visit to Monte Carlo included two performances: one at the Anglican St Paul’s church; and the other, strictly impromptu, under the initially wary gaze of the security staff at Monaco Cathedral. Fortunately, they thoroughly approved of the singing, and even joined in with applause from tourist visitors! Since we had not been given prior permission by the cathedral hierarchy, the outcome was testament as much to Kathryn’s audacity as her musical directorship.

One of the pieces sung to great acclaim with La Sestina was the opening chorus from “Sunrise Mass” by Ola Gjeilo, a contemporary Norwegian composer now based in America. Along with Durufle’s Requiem, this work will form part of the programme for our upcoming concert at St Faith’s Church, Station Rd, Maidstone ME14 1LH.

Tim Colston