A sunny June afternoon managing an OAE concert in the Kent countryside?  Or so I thought…  Blazing, humid sunshine accompanied the majority of the car journey down to beautiful Boughton Aluph church near Ashford in Kent last Saturday for the OAE’s appearance at the Stour Music Festival, where one of our OAE Leaders Kati Debretzeni was directing a small programme of Italian Baroque music.  As the Church was not in Boughton Aluph and more in the middle of nowhere (which I’ve now discovered was due to worry about the spread of the Plague) the festival organisers had a well thought out audience and artist hospitality.  Two huge Marquees (and deluxe portaloos) were erected in the neighbouring fields for the duration of the festival – with one for sole use of the artists, and filled with lots of yummy home made food which more than filled our growling stomachs in-between the afternoon rehearsal and concert – thank you Stour Music Festival and all the cooks for providing such a feast.  Can I have that summer pudding recipe please??

Who would have guessed that the second the rehearsal started the heavens would have opened, (I think most of June’s rainfall then fell in the next 3 hours), and that the roof would start to drip.  Cue Ceri running around looking for buckets, a mop and a golf umbrella.  Luckily when the rain stopped the dripping stopped too, and with a fine blue sky for the evening concert the only sounds to be heard was the superb playing of the OAE and the fine singing of Lorna Anderson.

Concerts in non-concert Hall set-ups always prove to be a challenge on the set-up front, and I did have a little chuckle to myself to see that there was a Policeman guarding the entrance.

Ceri Jones, Projects Manager