Emily’s Tour Diary
Posted on Nov 26, 2009 in Tours
Emily Burnett, Head Chorister writes
“With a 5am start, sleepy eyed choristers clambered onto the coach which was taking us on our journey through the Eurotunnel. We were greeted by our two bus drivers, Andy and Dave, who were the funniest bus drivers we had ever come across. With the songs and chants they taught us, such as ‘This is the song that never ends,’ the time soon flew by and we arrived at our first hotel twelve hours later. Our evening meal consisted of many Belgium favourites and a much needed drink for the adults. One sip and they soon discovered just how strong the beer was in Belgium!
The following day we were taken by our courier, Helen, to explore Bruges. We visited a museum called Choco-Story which told us about the history of chocolate which many of us tasted and purcahsed some of the world famous Belgium chocolate – it did not disappoint! The canals that weaved through the city were lovely and the first cathedral we sang in was Saint Salvator’s. We were received by a fabulous audience and the concert was a great success. A couple of amazing organ solos from Assistant Director, Mr Roberts, gave us a rest and Olivia Hunt, Leader Chorister, gave a wonderful solo in Vox Dicentis by Edward Naylor.
On day three we travelled for four hours from Diksmuide to Paris for our second concert at La Madeleine. From the outside the church looked like a Greek temple. It was vast and had large columns all the way round. Inside there were no windows but the acoustic was glorious. There was something special about the atmosphere here and the space was wonderful to sing in. The leader choristers sang a quartet, Ave Maria by the French composer Saint-Saëns (who had been organist there) and Emily Burnett sang a notable solo during Roger Ducasse’s Crux Fidelis. Later that evening we went on a boat trip along the river Seine. The beautifully lit “Tour d’Eiffel” captured everyone’s attention. After half an hour of waiting to cast off, we changed boats as ours had broken down! We cruised past Notre Dame cathedral and saw much of Paris’ stately architecture. After dinner we departed for our second hotel.
The next morning brought much excitement from all the choristers as the plan was to visit Disneyland. After Mr Rushforth’s stern words about not spoiling our voices, we set off, filled with the buzz that only Disney magic can bring! With the variety of adrenaline fuelled rides, the park was to everyones taste, apart from one of the adults, who was reportedly heard to say, upon departing the Tower of Terror, “I felt like my organs were going to come out of my mouth!”
After a busy few days, the last day loomed, along with the final concert in St Sévérin’s Church. Following the concert, we had Flams, a traditional French pizza. With thank you gifts and cards bought and signed we departed with heavy hearts but fond memories of a wonderful tour of Paris and Bruges.”