Choral Triumph in Normandy

Choral Triumph in Normandy

Our annual choir tour took ETS and Chamber Choir to Normandy, a wonderful region of France which is known for its interesting culture. Our choirs performed in both services and concerts to an incredibly high standard with repertoire that celebrated British choral composers that included Tavener, Elgar, Vaughan-Williams and many others. There were many highlights; the acoustics in the basilica Sainte Therese in Lisieux was particularly stunning and together with the jaw-dropping beauty of the crypt, provided an inspiring setting. This magnificent basilica was the first venue on the tour where our choirs participated in a mass. High praise was given by members of the public and visiting Bishops and, a choral director from the Conservatoire in Paris. Our choirs’ tone and blend was particularly notable and they exuded confidence in every piece. Following the service, a full concert was performed, repeated later that evening in a performance at the coastal town of Villers-sur-Mer at the beautiful Eglise de Saint-Martin. Our final performance was given the following day at Eglise Saint- Patrice in the famous town of Bayeux. At each performance, local attendees commented on the professionalism and high standard of the choirs. Our soloists from both choirs must be congratulated as well as our own Organ Scholar, Catherine Y (Second Year). Her performances on this tour were most impressive- working with mechanical and historic organs is particularly challenging.

Aside from performances, time was found for cultural discovery- our visit to the 360 degree cinema in Arromanches was both moving and through-provoking. And, in contrast to the formal singing at our performances, our music quiz night and ‘live karaoke’ sessions were huge fun and enjoyed by all. These down-time activities highlighted the sheer talent of our singers in ETS and Chamber Choir in musical theatre and pop singing. Awesome harmonies made for some very uplifting and memorable moments.

Most striking on this tour was the continued camaraderie between the singers and choirs as well as the success of the through-school approach to music at Caterham School. Our pupils ranged from Prep Year 6 to Upper Sixth with friendships across year groups. This, together with the supportive and encouraging nature of our singers created a real sense of ‘family’.

Well done to every member of this fantastic tour- we look forward already to our next tour to The Netherlands.

Mr Adam Assen,

Director of Music

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