Ely Cathedral – Choral Evensong – 3rd August 2011

Yesterday swimming, today running – don’t let it be said that Anna and I are slacking off on this trip.  Again, we were up bright and early and headed out to a little park next to the cathedral.  We didn’t take ourselves too seriously, just ran around the park a little and played tag!  The park was, by Dutch standards, extremely hilly – something of a challenge when you’re used to running on the flat.

Our statutory exercise done, we headed back to our accommodation for a much needed pre-rehearsal breakfast.  By this point in the week, everything is becoming routine – we no longer have to rack our brains, or consult little scraps of paper for the door code to the song school, and we know what time rehearsals start and finish without checking the timetable (even if we do still end up running late because of emergency frapuccino stops at Starbucks).

The weather has been getting warmer and muggier, and we were promised thunderstorms this evening.  They can’t come soon enough – the small song school where we rehearse is very cramped and stuffy, not helped by the fact that it’s on the south side of the cathedral.  When we leave the song school and move into the main cathedral the sudden drop in temperature and increase in oxygen levels is glorious.

Today is the only service where we’re singing anything which splits into two choirs (although we do have a few pieces coming up later in the week where only one or two parts split), so that took much of our attention.  We also had the mammoth psalm 18 to sing – all 51 verses of it, with 4 chant changes.  Luckily, we repeated the same set of responses from yesterday, which saved some rehearsal time.

  • Preces and Responses: Michael Walsh
  • Psalm 18 (chants by Cooke, Riding, Grey and Massey)
  • Office Hymn 210
  • Canticles: St. Andrew’s Service – Peter Aston
  • Anthem: Hail gladdening light – Charles Wood

After the service we went out with some of the other choir members for a curry, and then chilled out on the lawn of the retreat house before finally calling it a day and heading off to bed.

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