Today, we were blessed by JRy(Mr. Ryan’s latest nickname)’s presence in morning rehearsal. It was great to be able to work with him on some quality Tallis acapella pieces. After rehearsal, we had lunch and took an unfortunately long bus ride (around 45 minutes…) to a glass factory in Bristol.
When we got to the glass making room, it was very hot; I could not imagine working there all day! Phew!!! Workers there taught the group about the art of glassmaking, and we got to see the ovens and tools they used to heat and shape glass. It takes eight years to become a glassmaker! I was super jealous because one of the choristers got to blow the glass and help make it. Following the demonstration, we spent time browsing shelves displaying the glass products from the factory, and some choristers bought a glass piece or two. It was a very interesting afternoon.
When we got back to the capacious cathedral, Mr. Hitel was still not back from his organ search on which he had set out that morning. I was very worried, but they were just stuck in traffic. Mr. Ryan continued to take rehearsal, guiding us through the nuances of Tallis and Tomkins. In that moment, it was as if I was in a time machine, taken back to the days of monks and the English reformation. I was catapulted into a state of euphoria, and the gregarious nature of the choir was quickly subdued by the beauty of the music.
At the last minute, Mr. Hitel showed up! I cried tears of joy, and hugged him and told him that I loved him.
Evensong was a success. The Tomkins Responses echoed around the walls and ceilings of the Cathedral. The Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis went reasonably well, despite the fact that it was in F sharp Dorian, and some of us struggled with the raised 6th degree of an otherwise minor scale.
After Evensong we went back to the hostel, ate dinner, and went to bed, already ecstatic about the day ahead. If you would like to listen to evensong from the 31st, please click below!
Until next time,
Harry “El Bantero” Bound and Kate Meurer.