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European adventures for the Cathedral choir

European adventures for the Cathedral choir

The Cathedral choir have recently embarked on two exciting European adventures.

In April, the choir travelled to Norway. The four-day tour was the choir’s first trip to Norway  it was inspired by the community of Gildeskål and its connection to St Thomas of Canterbury.

Gildeskål is a municipality in Nordland county. It is part of the Bodø Region and the traditional district of Salten. It is 300km north of the Arctic Circle and on the coast. Gildeskål’s beautiful old Church is dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury and it is believed there is a relic of the Saint in the Church’s stone altar.

The choir’s four-day adventure included traveling between Bodø Cathedral and the new and old Churches of Gildeskål. The journey took the choir over land and sea encompassing some of Norway’s truly beautiful and breathtaking scenery.

The choir began their tour on the Friday with a concert at Bodø Cathedral and in Gildeskål New Church on Saturday. Both of these were to large, enthusiastic audiences and both received standing ovations. Before the concert on Saturday, the lay clerks gathered around the altar of the Old Church and sang a short service of Evensong. The choir returned on Sunday morning to sing the Eucharist and then they travelled back to Bodø Cathedral to sing Evensong.

The music sung on the tour was linked to St Thomas and included both plainsong and a contemporary anthem.

The trip was a huge success on every front, with a wonderful welcome from our Norwegian friends and some beautiful singing from the choir. We look forward to further links as this friendship unfolds and we are very grateful to our Norwegian hosts for all the efforts which went into make this trip possible.

David Flood, Master of the Choristers

 

In June, in response to the generous invitation made by the Archbishop of Lille and the Dean of the Cathédrale de Notre Dame de la Treille, the choir travelled to Lille Cathedral to sing Anglican Evensong. The reception was very effusive and congregation enormously enthusiastic.

The choir sang a 20-minute concert programme as a prelude to Evensong and then the service itself, which included music by Stanford, Gray and Gibbons; all for the Sunday after the Ascension.

The acoustics of the Cathedral are wonderful and the impression the choir made was astonishing. It was such a success and so well received that we hope it might be repeated before too long.  The two dioceses are only separated by a stretch of water!

David Flood, Master of the Choristers

 

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