Quirister Tour to Durham
20-23 April 2022
As part of the Winchester College chapel choir, the Quiristers were invited to sing three evensong services in the magnificent ancient precinct of Durham Cathedral. In true Harry Potter style, they piled onto a train at King’s Cross for the journey north.
Each service saw them perform different pieces from their well-rehearsed canon; Wednesday’s service included the beautiful anthem Set me as a Seal upon your Heart by Eleanor Daley, as well as Canticles to settings by Brewer in D. A great start and the Qs were rewarded with supper at Nando’s!
On Thursday, they had an enjoyable and exhilarating trip to Newcastle to visit St James’s football stadium and marvel at the hallowed turf; the boys even got to sit in the home team changing room. 'We got to imagine them running out of the tunnel and we did too, which was also fun!' said James P. They returned to Durham for evensong and performed a delightful anthem Haec Dies by William Byrd (one of whose manuscripts resides in the Durham Cathedral library).
It wasn’t all work and on Friday the Quiristers were taken by Mr Leslie, Mrs Allen and Q Matron Maria to visit the replica Roman fort at Hadrian’s Wall called Vindolanda. They walked from Steel Rigg and stopped at Sycamore Gap by the tree (guess which film made it famous!) The boys explored the fort which was created to see how Roman buildings stood up to the weather conditions, for the Qs it was thankfully sunny. Mrs Brill will hopefully be suitably impressed by all they learned!
To avoid too much rehearsing, Mr Ionascu planned a perfect balance between familiar music and new psalms, and the third and last service on Friday featured an anthem they knew well, Blessed be the God and Father by SS Wesley which was beautifully performed. The quieter section Love one another with a pure heart fervently, See that ye love one another, showcased the voices of the Quiristers floating around the Cathedral’s carved sandstone pillars and was particularly magical. Mr Cunningham played the cathedral organ with his usual skill and assurance to accompany them throughout all three services.
Those Quirister parents who also journeyed north were warmly welcomed by Durham and enjoyed a jolly dinner all together as well as a fascinating tour of the Cathedral library, arranged by Mrs Holmes, and the organ loft, thanks to Mr Cunningham. It was a very successful trip and the Cathedral staff were impressed with the professional discipline demonstrated by the whole choir and particularly the Quiristers.
It was a tired but happy group which re-embarked the train to come home. As Head Q Laurie S said, 'My favourite moment, apart from singing in Durham Cathedral was running around at Hadrian’s Wall…the view was amazing.'
The Quiristers can be heard at services in the Winchester College Chapel on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and also Sunday mornings.
If your son is keen on singing and to find out more about being a Quirister or to join the Open Day on 11 June 2022 please contact email@example.com and see the attachment below.
With thanks to Mrs Drusilla Brodrick for this article.