Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ely Cathedral - Saturday May 1.

The day started sunny as we drove for 45 minutes from the hostel to the town of Ely and the chance to perform in The Lady Chapel of the Ely Cathedral which has it’s roots back to the mid 800's. The cathedral is beautiful and grand(how do you even begin to describe something so majestic and awe inspiring. The sheer history of this place reflecting many changes in history. Oliver Cromwell’s house is in Ely and his impact on many churches in England was immense as was that of Henry VIII, but still the cathedral has a spiritual presence that lifts your eyes to the heavens when you enter.
When we arrived we had a tour of the cathedral. The history and the detail are very different from anything we have seen thus far. As we were sitting a procession of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre(50 - 60 people)in their robes and cloaks marked with the crusaders cross. Our guide had never seen such before so we were honored to see them as they went to the chapel for a service. The Lady Chapel is large with awesome acoustics (7 sec reverb). Very different sound from the practice room back at Concordia. Singing in such places gives the choir a whole different sound.
The concert when wonderfully. In this space our choir sounded as they never have before and a few were moved to tears when they got to the final traditional piece. There was a good crowd and now the top experience thus far is The Lady Chapel. As we left the cathedral there was an orchestra and singers preparing for a Gilbert and Sullivan presentation this evening. The amount of culture and opportunities to hear choral music is amazing. We returned to Cambridge for a rehearsal in St. Mary’s where the choir will be singing tomorrow. Later this afternoon we will be going Punting in the Backs. Stay tuned.
PS from Garry: It has been wonderful to watch the choir members react to the acoustics in the various places they have sung. They have risen to the challenge to make some amazing music. We will have more supporters for a new chapel in the future.

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