Ken retired from the engineering profession and needed a hobby. Having coped with his loud voice at my side in church for far too long, I urged him to joined the choir. This hobby very soon became an obsession.
And then he had a dream: to build his own concert hall adjoining the house. It was to be absolutely within the Grand Design concept (indeed the Kevin McCloud team said they would have loved to film it, but by then the building was half finished and they need to be there at the design stage). It took four years to build, the design was our own, the construction was largely Ken’s, and it has been lived in and enjoyed by our guests these past two years, a grand piano was bought and yesterday, 7th May 2009, the first concert was staged.
We expected fifty, but eighty people came to hear Dr Swallow (every trained musician in Northern Ireland will know him) accompany the four singers of the Performers Club in a programme of light classical music and and songs from the shows. We will say modestly that it was a very happy success. And here is something to ponder: one of the guests said that our canapes handed round after the concert were better than those served to First Class Passengers on British Airways. We are still wondering what that means.
Ken’s dream came true, the acoustics were wonderful, the singers loved the projection of their voices and congratulations abounded. Interesting man, interesting dream.
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“Worth crossing the world for – simply outstanding.”