My second choir trip this summer was to Durham Cathedral, with the choir of St Mary the Virgin, Bowdon – my English choir, whom I still visit when I’m back at home.
Durham is a city which I have passed through a couple times, including for university interviews, but never really spent much time in. The city itself is small and welcoming, and we were lucky to be staying at one of the colleges (St Chad’s), which is located directly behind the cathedral. After the steep uphill walk we had in Bristol, I really enjoyed the convenience of being able to just nip up to the cathedral, especially when loaded with robes and music.
It was great fun being back with my friends from the old choir, singing both old favourites from my 11 years in the choir, as well as exercising my sight-reading skills on the newer pieces. All in all, we were over 40 people on the weekend, which caused some logistical problems in choir stalls designed for 24 people.
The only frustration for me at Durham is that, unlike most British cathedrals, photography is not allowed. The cathedral is an incredibly awe-inspiring building, with huge great pillars, and my fingers were really itching to get my camera out! Fortunately, we were able to take photos in a couple of areas, including the cloisters and the chapter house, where we robed up and which featured in the Harry Potter films as the transfiguration classroom.