Tag Archives: Worcester Cathedral

Worcester: Saturday evening report

If it’s Saturday, it must be Worcester.

After a full week that started in Bristol, continued to Worcester, with side trips to Ludlow, Tintern, Cardiff, Gloucester, and Tewkesbury, I am home this evening at the Fownes Hotel in Worcester.

Over the last eleven days, we have sung ten services of praise in four different cathedrals.  We have our last two services tomorrow.

Yesterday’s off day in Wales included stops at the ruins of Tintern Abbey, an afternoon in Cardiff, and a wonderful evening of skittles, hops, light food, and laughter at the Haw Bridge Inn in Gloucestershire.

This day: George Emblom and I took the train south this morning to Gloucester to attend the opening service of the Three Choirs Festival. What started nearly 300 years ago as a two-day festival is now a nine-day extravaganza of choral music.  I will hear a half dozen recitals in the next week, attend various Evensong services and lectures, be a tourist in my off time, and hear major choral works:

  • Beethoven 9
  • Belshazzar’s Feast
  • The Song of Hiawatha
  • The Dream of Gerontius

in addition to Sibelius’ 2nd symphony and other major works. For all of this I move on Monday morning to Gloucester for the week.

Of course I burst into tears this morning at the service — twice.  The opening hymn caught me off guard, as I was lifting my voice with a thousand others in praise of Almighty God in this dream-come-true location and activity.  And “God Save the Queen” reduced me to a bubble as it often does, as this service of sacred, secular, and state concluded with the British national anthem.

I had a few minutes to visit with Adrian Partington afterwards, which was a nice treat.

So Three Choirs has commenced.

But first, the last two services here.  We had wine with one of the Cathedral canons this evening in his home on the College Green.  Six of us joined for dinner following at Ye Olde Talbot Hotel.  I am now weary, and in for the evening.

Here are some more photos from yesterday:

Another day is Worcester

Rain this morning.  Along with Fr. Peter and George Emblom, I found a service laundry today, so I now have clean clothes.  I spent the morning in the hotel working on Webster stuff, then walked to the Cathedral to have a tour of the Worcester Cathedral Library.

Evensong featured Howells today, which was delightful!

I did some filming today, and will have that up soon enough.

Dinner of fish & chips finished off the day, along with a Pimms jug.

From the day:

In Worcester

Transit to Worcester.  Tour of the Cathedral. Luncheon in the refectory.  Check in at the (very warm and uncomfortable) hotel.  Back to Cathedral for Evensong rehearsal and service.  Dinner at the hotel.  And now, at the Cardinal’s Hat pub around the corner, a pint of beer and general rejoicing over the birth of the royal baby.

London & Gloucester

The epic summer trip is coming into focus.  I’ll spend a portion of my summer in the UK before a semester’s leave.

The first 2.5 weeks will be with my friend K; he’s never left the USA, so we are spending some London time before taking an 11-day UK and Ireland package tour, hitting five countries in those 11 days.  The trip includes two Irish Sea crossings by ferry; overnights in London, Dublin, Glasgow, and Cardiff, loads of bus travel, places I’ve not yet seen as well, and revisits to some lovely cities such as Edinburgh, York, and Salisbury.

Worcester Cathedral.

When that vacation trip is over, I join with the Choir of Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kansas City for a two-week choir tour in the West of England and Wales, culminating in a week-long residency at Worcester Cathedral.  The trip includes daily Evensong at various cathedrals and abbeys; we spend three days in Wales as well.

Since the conclusion of the GHTC trip coincides with the start of the Three Choirs Festival, I shall make the short train trip to Gloucester and spend a week there for an orgy of choral and vocal music.  I purchased this past week my hotel for that stay.  I’m anxious to spend more time in this area of the country, in counties that Elgar, Vaughan Williams, and Howells called home.

Last evening, after spending 90 minutes reviewing property on Airbnb, I settled on an apartment in London for the first four nights of the trip.  We are also planning a day-trip to Paris, via Eurostar.

A long summer vacation/singcation, and then a semester’s leave?  Bliss indeed!