This is Diane Fernald writing to you from the historic town of Cambridge where, incidentally, the University is celebrating its 800th anniversary this year!
We left London this morning and had a drizzly, scenic drive to East Anglia. Along the way, we stopped at one of only two cemeteries to hold American service men and women who served as crew members of British-based American aircraft from WWII.
Upon our arrival, some of us opted to visit the very impressive Fitzwilliam Museum. We were thrilled to see works by Rembrandt, Picasso, Da Vinci, and William Blake. As we wandered through Cambridge, we managed not to be run over by the thousands of college students on bicycles, the preferred way of getting around town. Suzie warned us today, “those bicyclists…they are DEATH on wheels!”
A destination for many of us was Emmanuel College, known as “Emma” to the locals. Several varieties of exotic-looking ducks were swimming in the school’s pond. A local music shop which carried some excellent used British music was a popular choice for many of the singers.
The wife of Stephen Cleobury (Director of the BBC Singers) gave us a tour of King’s College Chapel in the afternoon, which coincided with the choir rehearsing for the Choral Evensong. The choir sang music of Victoria and the sound was truly ephemeral. After supper in the college dining room (think Hogwarts), we headed over to the Chapel and had a demanding rehearsal with Stephen Cleobury. For many of us, sitting in King’s College Chapel listening to Evensong may have been a once in a lifetime evening…but tomorrow WE will have the rare and exciting opportunity to share our beautiful music there! Check out our photo diary for today!