BLOG: The Music department’s tour to Durham

Welcome to the blog for the QE Music Department’s trip to Durham, 14th – 17th July 2012.

Wednesday 11th July 2012

A reminder of the arrangements for the morning of Saturday 14th: we will meet at the music department at 6.00 am, ready to load the coach for a prompt departure at 6.30 am. 

The gates to the Main School will be closed, so please drive straight past these and down to the music block, leaving space for the coach to drive out through the gates.

Please be ready to hand any medication which your son requires to his group leader in a clearly-labelled bag.  If you wish to hand in money for safe-keeping, this should also be presented to your son’s group leader in a clearly-labelled envelope. 

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday morning.

Miss Lancelot

""Saturday 14th July 2012, 2pm

We have arrived safely (from both Barnet and Shrewsbury) and settled in to our beautiful accommodation. Lunch was taken under the impressive chandeliers of St Chad's College. The boys are looking forward to seeing the bands at the cathedral service for the Miners' Gala at 3pm. 

Saturday 14th July 2012, 9.30pm

""This afternoon the Miners' Gala service proved to be a splendid, moving occasion, with marching bands leading new banners into the cathedral at the start of the service. Boys enjoyed the opportunity to sing one of our Founder's Day hymns, Jerusalem, again, and hear the cathedral choir in action for the first time.

Afterwards, we saw the bands make their way back through the streets of Durham, and enjoyed our first glimpse of sunshine in a very long time! Boys spent some leisure time getting settled in to their rooms and playing football on the Cathedral green.

""After a delicious supper in St Chad's (BBQ chicken, steak and mushroom pie, lamb chops or butternut squash risotto), the choir had an intensive rehearsal with the cathedral's Master of the Choristers and Organist, James Lancelot, which was a very valuable experience for all involved. The band rehearsed shortly after, making a very impressive sound under Mr Howe's direction.

At the end of a long and exciting day, we are due a period of recreational activities led by the seniors, followed by bed. Roll on Beamish tomorrow!

Sunday 15th July, 9.30pm

""Day Two of the Durham tour was spent at Beamish museum, Stanley, and saw three very well-attended performances, one by the choir and strings, and two by the band. Boys took advantage of the brilliant sunshine, and enjoyed sampling the delights of Beamish's traditional sweet shop.

Having dined at St Chad's, we're spending the evening aboard Durham's largest vessel, the Prince Bishop (this is her first outing in seven weeks due to the recent flooding!). Boys are enjoying the beautiful scenery over complimentary refreshments, and are very much looking forward to tomorrow's cathedral performances.

Monday 16th July, 11.15pm

""Monday's itinerary was a busy and challenging one for the boys, but they more than rose to the occasion and excelled in a riveting lunch time concert and an enchanting evensong, both of which were extremely well received.

All boys were treated to a tour of the cathedral this morning, and those who were involved in just one of today's two performances also toured the historic castle.

The day was aptly rounded off with a relaxing BBQ event at St Chad's College, which was attended by the boy choristers of Durham Cathedral Choir, with whom the QE chamber choir had performed at evensong, and Prof P J Rhodes OE of Durham University's Classics Department.

We're looking forward to our tour of the city and university in the morning. It seems it will be hard to say goodbye to Durham tomorrow!

Tuesday 17th July, 3.30pm

""Our final morning comprised a fantastic talk about and tour of Durham University with Mr James Randle and Dr Peter Swift. We felt very privileged to be able to see inside labs in the Physics, Geography and Engineering departments, as well as a brand new lecture theatre. The tour ended with a trip to St Mary's College, from where we could admire the stunning panoramic view of the cathedral.

After a brief trip to the shops to purchase souvenirs, we set off at 1pm, and currently our ETA is 18.15.

A wonderful time has been had by all; boys have performed to a very high standard and rightly received numerous compliments not only for their musicianship but also for their polite manner. It has been a pleasure for us as staff to take such talented and considerate young men on tour, and we look forward to facilitating similar opportunities in future.