Yesterday was wonderful. In fact, very exciting! We took a trip out to Cambridge. But the getting there took a while. Someone had the bright idea of driving the coach through the heart of London at 10 AM. I’m still not sure why we didn’t head towards the outskirts of the city and then move towards Cambridge. At least we got to see the construction site for the 2012 Olympics. But I still can’t help but think how I could’ve gotten across town on the tube in half the time…
Anyway, I was able to sleep once the coach got rolling, which made the time pass quickly. When I woke up, we were in beautiful countryside. When we stopped, we were not in downtown Cambridge, but outside a cemetery. We were given 30 minutes to wander the American cemetery from WWII in Cambridge. Both the actual graves and memorials for those killed in the Atlantic, Battle of Britain, and North Africa are memorialized here. It was a very sacred place. I knew that there were memorial grounds on the Continent, but I was unaware of this one and the one south of London from WWI. (be sure to check out the new photos!)
I was sad to leave, but the drive into Cambridge was magical. To see the colleges from the Backs was a good first impression. Phil, Jake, and I grabbed a bite at a delightful place across from King’s and then explored the heart of town on foot. There were lots of interesting things, though the sight of a Disney Store was a little disappointing. The general consensus is that Cambridge is better than Oxford; we’ll see if I still feel that way after spending two months there. Hopefully I will.
After exploring for a bit, we wandered into the University Press Store. There were two books that I really wanted, but didn’t buy. But I’m fairly confident I’ll buy them when I go back to Cambridge. Especially since the store is right across from King’s. We also headed to a wonderful ice cream shop and enjoyed some very creamy ice cream.
After the fun day of exploring, we wandered over to Trinity College for the rehearsal and evensong. When we walked into the quadrangle, I jumped for joy; the sight was heavenly and it made me so happy to think that I would be in a similar place for so long. The most surprising thing about the chapel was the warm temperatures we found inside! Between that warmth and the generally warm (even hot?) day, I didn’t have much need for the jacket I hauled along. But such is life!
We attended both the rehearsal and performance of evensong at Trinity College, Cambridge. Overall, a wonderful experience. Their sound is much closer to the sound we are familiar with at BYU than anything else we have heard. It had a very similar feel to a BYU Singer’s rehearsal. Their sound was very free and full, but with only 30 singers. It was great to hear such a good balance along with female sopranos and altos.
The director was the same director from the Holst Singers. He is either very stand-offish or uncomfortable talking to strangers and groups. He didn’t acknowledge our presence at all, which made for an uncomfortable dynamic. I am much more appreciative of the time our directors at BYU take to acknowledge visitors at rehearsals; many barriers, mostly psychological, are overcome as a member of a choir when the simple identity of the previously “random” person is obtained.
I was also impressed with the amount of music the choir was covering in the term. It was not easy music and they were carrying stacks of it. The “bulletin’s” list of pieces in addition to standard service music was mind-boggling. Perhaps I’ll try to sing in their choir someday...here’s for hoping. From what Dr. Staheli and Sister Hall said, Trinity College Choir is the best mixed choir in Cambridge. It is a shame that they get upstaged by King’s Boys Choir. Though, I am excited to hear the boys choir in a few weeks.