I think that as an American, I have been conditoned to believe that history does not really matter in some ways, that hard work can overcome everything, and so on. But now I'm not so sure.... And it's not even just a sense of tradition sweeping one along, or of familiarity with a given idiom, though that helps a lot. There seems to be a true and real and valid reason why Americans can sing jazz like nobody else, why black spirituals sung by British choirs leave me cold, and so on. Much as I would have liked to believe that you can somehow conquer a musical style that is not your own, I feel that there are some limits to this. Now that I'm a little older, I can admit my shortcomings more readily than I would have done at age 30, when I started [the writer's professional choir]; I felt at the time that I could take virtually any musical style and wrestle it to the ground. But in some cases I have met my match and have to acknowledge that there are styles I will in all likelihood never truly be able to master, and it is time to keep playing to my strengths for the good of all concerned!