In the spring of 2017, I was in the library of the Royal Academy of Music rummaging through a pile of old books for sale. From the collection, I picked up a worn, royal blue hardback book entitled “The Singing Church”. Having grown up as a choirboy, the book peaked my interest, so I decided to spend the whopping £.75 pence and purchased the book. Little did I know, it would serve as the inspiration and namesake for my next venture.
On my bus ride home that evening, I pulled out the book from my bag and began to read. The first chapter, entitled “The Origins”, explained the history of church music in England and told the story of Saint Augustine of Canterbury. I learned that in 597 AD, Pope Gregory sent Augustine and some forty Benedictine monks to England to convert the country to Christianity. Augustine and his monks were in fact the first people to bring sacred choral music to England. Struck by the strength of the name Augustine and seeing the connection to music and travel, I felt it would serve well as the name for an international concert touring company.
Approximately two weeks later, I met an Anglican priest whose name just happened to be Augustine. Never having met anyone before called by this name, I found it to be quite serendipitous, so after this encounter, I started auditioning other words in my head that could accompany Augustine. After a few lacklustre tries, “Noble” was the winner, connoting “righteous, virtuous, good, honourable and honest” - all words that I wanted to associate with my company and my work.
At the end of summer 2017, I was in America visiting family, a mere 3700+ miles away from where Augustine first landed in Kent, UK. Towards the end of my trip, I was driving alone to Virginia on a long four-hour drive, and as I set out, I began day-dreaming about my new venture, Augustine Noble. About a quarter of the way into my journey, I was deep in thought about the company, excited with the endless possibilities, but also feeling overwhelmed, so I asked for a sign of assurance. Not but a moment later, I glanced up and the road sign read “Augustine Avenue, next right”. Overwhelmed with emotion, I said a quiet “Thank you” and smiled. One month later Augustine Noble Limited was founded.
— Cameron Grimes