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FROM PDH: Rooming Info, Esther and her Playlist, and the Perils of Being a Soprano!

Good morning, everyone.

This is a pretty long post, but some important stuff you’ll want to know, methinks!

The Chaotic Process of Rooming the Choir

In the next day or two, Amy is going to release the long-awaited rooming list. I don’t recall any tour project that has required the labor of love – not to mention a good bit of pushing and shoving – that this one has in terms of finding places for everyone to sleep.

Why you might ask? Some people paid more for nicer rooms. GLITCH. Some people are taking the midnight bus to Hythe while others are traveling a day later. GLITCH. We’re only staying in smallish towns with very limited options in accommodations. BIG GLITCH. And the British are… well.. very, very British!

“Now you see Mr. Head, we’d love to help you with this booking for $25,000 but it seems your government requires special tax forms for us to receive your payment – and by the way, why did you blimey blokes break away from England in the first place and then go about making it so bloody difficult for us to do business with you. BLOODY HELL!! Any way, we’d happily take your credit card for payment, but you’ll have to be standing here, RIGHT HERE… next to my desk, to punch in your PIN! Is there anything else we can’t do for you today?And oh, perhaps you’ve noticed. We’re the ONLY hotel in town!

You get the idea.

Amy will be posting the rooming lists shortly in two forms. One will outline who your are rooming with and at which properties, and the other will simply be a grid so you can scan across and see where you are staying from one night to the next. This was particularly complicated for the small choir in the transfer to Hythe, as the only place in town that could accept a middle of the night arrival is the Imperial Hotel. If you upgraded, you’ll probably end up staying there all week. But some people will need to move to other properties on Monday morning as we have literally booked every available room in town.

Those who paid extra for an upgrade will see that in two ways:

  • You’ll stay in the Swan Hotel in Streatley instead of the Youth Hostel during our first stop, and…
  • While you may or may not stay in the Imperial in Hythe, we gave you the best rooms available in the smaller hotels or at the AirBNBs. Each property has it’s own advantages and we tried to make sure the people who paid more enjoy nicer accommodations.
  • In Chester, (near Llangollen) it’s all a bit different. There we divided the group into Choir I (Byrd) and Choir II (everyone else). Choir I is staying at The Mill and will check out the day of the competition, Choir II is staying at the Moxy and will all depart together the morning after the competition.

Thoroughly confused yet? You can review the various properties on the Itinerary page here.

A few words about roommate pairings and room changes en route: PLEASE JUST MAKE IT WORK! Quiet honestly, we don’t much care where you sleep or who you’re rooming with, but even a single change to the rooming list at this point will begin a landslide domino effect. (Mixed metaphor – sorry!) That said, if you want to arrange to swap with somebody or crash on somebody’s couch in one venue or the next, simply make it happen BUT LET BRI OR SARAH KNOW WHERE YOU ARE so we can find you in the case of an emergency. All the hotels in Great Britain have VERY strict rules about room capacity – no more than two adults per room – so PLEASE don’t go up to the reception desk and tell them you want five keys to your room. Seriously… BLOODY HELL!!!

In other news, we have a last minute addition to the soprano section. Esther (Holland) Rhoades was in Chorale with Luke Williams, traveling to Estonia where we won the Grand Prize then later to China where we managed to survive the last pandemic! She is SO excited to join us on this project that she assembled a YouTube playlist so she could catch up with the rest of the choir. You can find that playlist here!

And finally…


I was reticent to spend time seating the choir in our weekend sessions as people were still finding “their vibe” in the choir, and we never actually had all of the singers in the same room at the same time.

We will, however do that very first thing in our rehearsal sessions in the UK. I can tell you right now that we are going to have a major balance issue with first sopranos! (There are WAY too many of you!) This makes me harken back to the days of teaching ninth grade chorus when a young girl’s life was totally crushed when I moved her to Second Soprano on a whim! (Sorry damaged humans of ages past. I hope you all found good therapists after high school. 😬)

I realize that creates a bit of a conundrum as you’re working to memorize competition music, but you all know me well enough to know that I’m even likely to re-voice the choir from one measure to the next as we work for balance and blend. Just be prepared for all that… and if you end up getting moved to a different voice part in the heat of a moment be ready to roll with it, even if that means having a good cell plan with your therapist on speed dial!

I think that’s it for today. I’ve been telling everyone that I’m quite confident this will be the finest choir I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. Whether you win the coveted “Choir of the World” prize in Llangollen or not, you’ve already won the choir of the world prize in my heart.




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