Just realised that I didn't post about the concert. What can I say? Wow! Just "Wow!" sums it up pretty well. :). DH took some photos for me from the audience - I'll put one or two up tomorrow when I can liberate them from his camera.
For a start, it was an ambitious program. Both Poulenc's Gloria and Walton's Belshazzar's Feast are BIG pieces. Big sings. Most choirs would only tackle one in a concert. We did both successfully.
The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra were fabulous. Sixty-odd musicians who actually followed the conductor. (In my experience, not a common occurrence with professional musicians and a guest conductor.)
The concert hall gives back a very different sound quality when occupied by an audience. Much less rich. Moe dead. As a result, we struggled with the Poulenc - the third movement was harder to pitch so we went flat. Per our conductor, we recovered well and went back on key. It is such a beautiful piece of music and deserves to be better known. Have a look for the University of Utah's production on YouTube - well worth a listen.
Belshazzar's Feast was wonderful. The best we'd ever sung it. It was actually quite disappointing to get to the end and realise it was over. It finished much too fast for my liking - I'd have enjoyed going on for longer.
Our next concert is the Brahm's German Requiem at the Cadogan Hall in June. Same orchestra. Can't wait!