Chapel Choir On Tour Back to archive
15th May 2017

Over Easter our Chapel Choir set off for a week-long tour featuring concerts in Bled and Ljubljana in Slovenia and then two concerts in Venice - Mass in St Mark's Basilica and a final concert in the Church of Santa Maria Miracoli.

Here are some extracts from the blog they kept detailing their exploits:

DAY 1

Having successfully arrived and been awake for over 20 hours, the Benenden appetite truly destroyed the Slovenian all-you-can-eat buffet. The mood is now currently tense as the girls use their established and developed powers of persuasion to extend the bedtime beyond the suggested 9.30pm (in light of the 18th birthday.....)

DAY 3

Yesterday's first concert went off with a literal bang - some of the century-old organ sounds were more percussive than instrumental. Other highlights include the Choir being ushered on before the conductor, violinist and organist were near the venue, and a further pregnant five-minute pause between numbers was deemed appropriate halfway through the concert when some music copy was misplaced.

Today, the Choir have been given a largely leisurely day after Thursday's extensive tourism around Ljubljana. Cruising along Lake Bled whilst entertaining (or rather shocking) Bled's inhabitants with our attempts at acapella in the rarely encountered Slovenian sun hopefully proved ideal preparation to this evening's concert number two!

THE FINALE

Our journey to Venice on Saturday consisted of a couple of detours, one of which was the fascinating caves at Postogna which feature the famous Olm (a sort of lizard creature). Girls and teachers were whisked along underground in mini trains, and made excellent use of the acoustics by singing an unaccompanied movement of Stabat and witnessing the curiosity (and amazement) of passing tourists.

After another two-hour coach journey we finally arrived at our Venetian hotel. Sunday morning brought a tired (as a valuable hour's sleep was lost due to the clocks going forward) but excited start as the girls boarded a boat to arrive at inland Venice. The weather again was beautiful, and the girls were awed by the fascinating architecture in St Mark's Square along with the cheap and chic leather handbags found in Venetian back streets.

Our first performance of the day was the midday Mass in St Mark's Basilica. Despite an unintelligible and blind Italian service (we were placed in a remote gallery), we all enjoyed the incredible interior and outstanding acoustics and felt the fame as members of the public (not just parents and Mrs Price) congratulated the Choir and conductor on their performances. This was only the start, however, as after another afternoon of giving/shoving leaflets into the hands of the public the Choir robed up once again for the fullest and final concert of the tour.

Despite a bunch of tired voices, the girls gave the ultimate concert their all and it was a stunning success. Emerging from a Venetian back street yet again weighed down by carbohydrates and meat (except for the vegan who devoured a bowl of salad), all boarded the boat to go back to the hotel.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable, comedic and fascinating experience and we would all like thank those who had the strength to arrange and accompany 32 girls on the trip.