Wesley College Dublin

Bath Choir Trip

This year's trip took 43 members of the Senior Choir to Bath and Bristol for the usual jam-packed three-day tour of performances, sight-seeing and workshops! A Tower Tour in Bath Abbey was of our first port of call and upon ascending the 212 steps to the top, Bath’s skyline was revealed, with views of the beautiful architecture and immaculately kept sandstone buildings. A quick lesson in campanology halfway up provided a welcome break from the narrow and steep staircase with our guide illustrating the developments in the tower over the years before playing Happy Birthday on the Abbey bells! Lunch fuelled our choristers after which they returned to the Abbey, this time to warm-up for their lunchtime recital. Bethany Edgar took her place at the beautiful Steinway piano and treated the crowd to a stunning Debussy piece as well as providing wonderfully sensitive and sympathetic accompaniment for the choir during their performances. A varied and interesting programme included lots of Irish repertoire, most particularly Mark Armstong’s clever arrangement of Óró ‘Bhuachaillín which is becoming a rel favourite with the choir. A tour of the Roman Baths brought us back in time and we could see, hear and smell all that this world-famous site had to offer. Bristol#s Hippodrome Thetare was next on the agenda where we had a Wicked vocal workshop working on one of the ensemble numbers from the show, setting the scene brilliantly for our visit to the Theatre itself. What an amazing show!

A rainy Stonehenge was our first stop on day 2, followed by a visit to Longleat House and Safari Park where we got wonderful views of majestic lions, tigers, cheetahs and some very cute flamingos and lion cubs. Shopping in central Bath was followed by a very vividly told story of the rather complex but very interesting life of Mary Shelley, who wrote the grotesque tale of Frankenstein while living there. We walked in her footsteps through the dark streets of Bath.

All too soon, it was our final day and this last morning was spent clicking, clapping, moving and singing – the gospel workshop was a real highlight for everyone! There was great energy from the workshop leaders and the choir throughout the three-hour session with great soulful melodies, classic tunes and some very clever choral arrangements and great solo spots from some of the choir. Next we had interesting walking tour of central Bath, taking in the Assembly Rooms, Theatre Royal, gorgeous architecture of the Royal Crescent and Circus and lots more besides with some snow flurries thrown in before visiting Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery, beside Putney bridge, which famously features in Les Miserables. Final stop the airport, after an exhausting but very enjoyable three-day tour with, as always, a wonderful group of choristers and teachers.