The Bradford Cathedral Choir are heading abroad for the first time in ten years as part of an exciting tour that will see them heading to Germany, where they will be performing in churches across the country including Arnstadt where a teenage Bach was an organist back in 1703.
“Making music in another country is a fantastic way to expand the horizons of our choristers,” revealed Director of Music Alex Berry, who hopes the tour will help bring the young choir together as a team. “We hope they’ll develop their friendships more, as well as their love of music, and that [singing] in a different place will be an amazing experience and one that they’ll remember for a long time.”
The tour, which begins in Cologne, will see the choir performing in both Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, and will also involve some more recreational visits including trips to a chocolate factory and a museum.
Friday 24th May 2019
The choir have stopped off at St. Michael in Cornhill where they performed their final date in the UK before heading to Germany via the ferry.
Saturday 25th May 2019
The choir headed to Cologne where they enjoyed a visit to the Chocolate Museum before travelling to Cologne Cathedral.
Next up was Cologne Cathedral…
Sunday 26th May 2019
The choir rehearse and perform at Sankt Simon-und-Judas Kirche, Hennef, and visit the National Socialist Documentation Centre Museum. Later they had a concert at Sankt Pantaleon in Cologne, where they could also enjoy the city.
Then some beer after church (for some)!
From Director of Music: Alex Berry
We have had a fantastic day! This morning we sang in a church in the twin town of Banbury, where I grew up, called Hennef. The choristers had to sing all the hymns in German. After a spot of beer, apple juice, sandwiches and cake we went to the former headquarters of the Nazi Secret Police in Cologne. The children found this to be very eye-opening. This afternoon we sang a concert in one of Cologne’s Romanesque basilicas, Sankt Pantaleon. They presented the highest quality singing I have ever heard from Bradford Cathedral Choir.
Monday 27th May 2019
Today the choir made their way through the central German state of Hessen towards Erfurt. Monday included a service of Holy Communion in the Reglerkitche.
Playmobil gifts for all!
Tuesday 28th May 2019
First up was the Bach Museum which saw William from the choir operating the bellows of the organ, alongside plenty of opportunities for listening to the work of the composer.
The choir enjoyed a trip out to the Rodelbahn, even if the weather was against them.
The choir moved onto Tuesday’s performance venue, at Arnstadt, where various pieces were performed, including to the audience up on the balcony.
Wednesday 29th May
Wednesday saw the choir heading to Erfurt and arriving at their Cathedral.
Following a visit to a school there was a visit to Bach’s tomb in Leipzig, in St. Thomaskirche where he was the Choirmaster.
Next on the visit list were the town hall and the fish market, plus the oldest synagogue in Europe.
The choir arrives at the Catholic Cathedral, which includes a bell that reverberates for six minutes after it’s struck!
They were queuing out of the door for Wednesday’s performance, and the weather had improved for the occasion too!
The day concluded with a superb performance, for which they received a standing ovation.
Alex Berry, Director of Music:
“The choristers have been a joy to work with. They have worked very hard, and I hope that this tour is an experience that they will remember fondly for a long time.”
Thursday 30th May 2019 (Ascension Day)
The choir began the day with an open air service.
Next up was a visit to Cologne Cathedral and a visit to the bells. Here are the choir high up above the city.
The final part of the day was Evensong in Cologne.
Finally, there was time for some sight-seeing, food and some late-night geocaching.
And that’s all from the tour, now we wait for their return to Bradford Cathedral on Friday…