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Percy is a Norwich terrier, belonging to the singer and organist Peter Nardone, with whom I had the great pleasure of studying the Mozart Requiem today, in a workshop that was one of the events in this year’s Broadway Arts Festival. Around forty singers (at a guess) took the all-day workshop, during which Dr Nardone taught us a lot about singing technique, as well as about this particular piece; and then at 5pm we performed the work, to a piano accompaniment and with a spoken commentary, in front of an audience.

I’ve never done this kind of workshop before, and I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but it was such fun that I would definitely do it again – certainly if that meant working with Peter Nardone, who is very funny as well as being a skilled teacher, and kept us laughing for much of the day. Given that quite a few of the singers had never performed the Requiem before, I was amazed at how tight he managed to get us over the course of just a few hours, and though – of course – there were dodgy bits in the performance, there were also sections in which I listened to the sound we were producing and thought Wow!

What with ospreys, Skomer and now this workshop, I really am having an excellent month, and I’m feeling very lucky. Of course, not every day can be Christmas, and into every life, etc., etc., – and I daresay it won’t be long until I next find myself whining about weather/boredom/lack of photographic opportunities/Mazda/whatever – but I do want to put on record here my awareness that my existence is a pretty blessed one, and my gratitude for that fact.

Please see the extra for a photo that includes Dr Nardone, and which proves (if proof were required) that I’m a lousy portrait photographer – though just a little better with dogs than with people.