Chamber Choir Perform at Clare College, Cambridge
With much anticipation for an exciting day ahead the Chamber Choir set off for Cambridge on Thursday 8th March and arrived to find some typical Fenland weather of cold, misty drizzle.
The children were immediately impressed by the view of King’s College chapel and ‘the backs’ and set off on a walk which encompassed the Wren Library, the chapel and courts of Magdalene College and a view of the Pepys Library which contains his original diaries of the Great Fire of London. Some of the children were heard to say that they would like to study at such a university in the future.
Lunch in Clare College Cellars set the choir up for a quick rehearsal in the chapel. They were then joined by a large number of parents and friends who had made the journey up to Cambridge for the day. The sky had now cleared and the sun was streaming in through the plain glass windows of the chapel.
The choir sang pieces ranging from gospel through inspirational hymns to a haunting appeal for the plight of refugees. These were interspersed with contributions from four talented instrumentalists on flute, clarinet, piano and violin. The singing and playing were of a very high quality and members of the audience were moved by the ability of such young musicians to perform to such high standards. The choir and instrumentalists all commented on the privilege of being able to perform in such a beautiful venue which also has excellent acoustics.
Graham Ross, the Director of Music at Clare and conductor of the college’s world-renowned choir, gave the children a brief history of the chapel and the choir before a short tour of some of the highlights of the college, including the Great Hall where portraits of many former Masters are hung and where celebratory dinners are held.
A brisk walk down King’s Parade found the choir outside Fitzbillies, the famous Cambridge tearooms where hot chocolate and Chelsea buns were consumed enthusiastically. All then returned to Clare chapel to listen to the college choir during their regular rehearsal for Evensong. Having been introduced as students studying a wide range of subjects from Medicine to History to Law and Modern Languages, the choir started work on their pieces. This gave the children an opportunity to listen to singing at the highest level but also to understand the infinitessimal changes that are necessary to perfect the final performance.
We would like to thank Graham Ross and Clare College for allowing the choir to sing in their chapel and the parents and other supporters who joined us in Cambridge on the day.