Newsletter No 14, February 2018

We hope you enjoy reading our latest newsletter which includes information about the Annual Gathering on Monday 14 July for which the TCCA is providing the choir; excerpts from the Choir’s blog, written as they toured Canada last summer; and information about the forthcoming release of the Choir’s recording of Bach’s Mass in B Minor.

It was wonderful to see so many faces at the TCCA Gathering on 1 July 2017. If you attended, we hope you enjoyed the occasion and if you weren’t able to, we hope to see you at another event in the near future!

We’re always delighted to know what you would like to see in these newsletters – if you have any suggestions, please do get in touch.


Forthcoming Choir CD release

Mass in B MinorWe’re delighted to announce that our latest CD, Bach Mass in B Minor, is due for release on Friday 2 March. The recording took place in January 2017 in Chapel, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. A concert performance of the piece, presented by Ian Skelly, was also broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 in the same month.

The recording is the culmination of a four-year project to perform and record the work. The Choir and the OAE performed the work three times in St John’s Smith Square in December 2014, 2015 and 2016, as part of the Annual Christmas Festival.

The recording features three Choir alumni as soloists: Katherine Watson (soprano), Helen Charlston (mezzo-soprano) and Gwilym Bowen (tenor), and also features Iestyn Davies (countertenor) and Neal Davies (bass).

Copies of recent CDs are now available from the Alumni Relations and Development Office (or 01223 761527) and clips from all CDs can be found on the Choir website.

Alumni Carol Service 2017

We are very grateful to members of the TCCA who sang in the Alumni Carol Service, which took place in St Giles-in-the-Fields, and especially to Tom Dupernex for organising the choir for this event, and to Michael Waldron for directing. The Alumni Carol Service goes from strength to strength and a larger venue is being sought for this year’s service.

Choir tour to Canada 2017

In July 2017, the Choir toured to Canada, visiting seven locations and performing nine concerts. We hope you enjoy reading this snapshot of their time away, drawn from the Choir’s tour blog.

NiagaraWe’ve arrived in Canada! Our first stop is Niagara-on-the-Lake, where we’ve received a very warm welcome. Today we’ve enjoyed exploring our beautiful surroundings. Many of the group headed to the Falls for boat trips and walking tours behind the Falls (now we understand why everyone wears ponchos…). Now for some relaxation in the sunshine before our first concert in St Mark’s Church!

The Choir’s first concert as part of Music Niagara included the premiere of Owain Park’s The Spirit Breathes with words by former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. The piece, composed for choir and organ, was written for St Mark’s Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake to mark its 225th anniversary. Congratulations to St Marks!

Whilst in Niagara-on-the-Lake, lots of choir members took advantage of a full day off by hiring bikes and cycling from the centre of town out along the river towards Queenstown. It also happened to be a lovely coincidence that there were many excellent wineries along the way. We sampled ice wine, which seems to be very popular round here and is a delicious, sweet dessert wine. Following many, many miles of cycling (including on a tandem which was definitely more difficult than we had anticipated!), we went for a dip in the lake back in town. We then enjoyed a pizza party generously put on by Anita, Tilly and Meg’s hosts. It was an incredibly energetic and fun day!

The Choir gave a second concert comprised of light music in St Mark’s Church, which was followed by a barbeque in the beautiful church grounds (and another swim in the lake, for those who were brave enough!). We’re extremely grateful for the very warm welcome we received from our hosts at Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The Choir then moved on to London, where they performed a programme of choral works at St Paul’s Cathedral, with music by composers including Byrd, Bax and Vaughan Williams. It was incredibly hot that day and a job to keep cool whilst singing!

St Paul's Cathedral London

The next day, the Choir departed London for sunny Elora, where they were to perform as part of the Elora Festival. The first concert – a programme of Magnificats by J S Bach and C P E Bach – was performed jointly by the Choir and the Elora Festival Singers in the beautiful Gambrel Barn. We enjoyed exploring the town and walking by the river, and were lucky to be asked to a barbeque at the home of a host family, which overlooks the Elora Gorge. Many of the choir went swimming in the Elora Quarry, a secluded spot and a fantastic setting for a swim.

The Choir then (temporarily) left Elora and travelled to Toronto. We had some time once we arrived to visit St Laurence Market, an indoor market with lots of yummy food! We really enjoyed performing in St James’s Cathedral, which had a beautiful acoustic, though the industrial-sized fans meant that half of the choir would not have been out of place in a L’Oreal hair advert! Performing in the afternoon meant that we had a free evening to explore the Toronto nightlife, and we were disappointed not to have longer there.

Elora quarryOn the following morning, we returned to Elora and had some time for a walk to the gorge before that afternoon’s rehearsal. Our concert was once again in the Gambrel Barn, a unique venue and a great experience! After the concert, Noel Edison (conductor of the Elora Festival Singers) invited all of the choir and our hosts to a party at his house, which was a lovely way to finish off our time in Elora.

The Choir were then back on the coach (some of which had free wifi!) to Parry Sound, where many of the Choir were lucky enough to stay with hosts with houses on islands. The weather was (for the most part!) glorious and there were plenty of lakes and forests nearby to explore. Some students stayed with hosts who own a summer cottage by the shores of one of the lakes…

…it was a beautiful and peaceful spot, miles away from civilisation, and with plenty of opportunity for canoeing, reading by the fireside, and eating as much homemade food as was put in front of us! There was much great wildlife around there – we saw beavers, tortoises and hummingbirds, and even a couple of (stuffed) moose. Other members of the Choir went out in the bay on pedalos, jet skis and motorboats, some even arriving in style at the concert hall by water. The concert took place in the Charles Stockey Centre – it’s a concert hall with a great acoustic, which (in true Canadian style) is also attached to the town’s ice hockey rink.

The Choir’s penultimate concert venue was at St George’s Cathedral, Kingston, on the shore of Lake Ontario. At six hours, this was by far the longest coach journey. En route, some members of the Choir were able to sample the delicacy ‘Poutine’, consisting of chips, gravy, and cheese curds. Dubbed the ‘City of 1000 islands’, Kingston was once the capital of Canada, and is thus a city of historical importance. The Choir spent much of the afternoon exploring the town (some making the most of the stunning views over the lake by going for a run) prior to a sell-out concert in the evening.


On the following day, there was another early start as the Choir travelled to Ottawa, the final destination of the tour. The afternoon was spent exploring Canada’s glorious capital, highlights being the Supreme Court, Parliament and a fundamentally rambunctious flower show celebrating 150 years of Canada.

The Choir performed in Dominion-Chalmers United Church as part of Ottawa Chamberfest. There were queues around the block prior to the concert and we were told afterwards that it was their best-ever selling concert.

The evening was rounded off by some delicious cheeseboards and some rather enthusiastic karaoke! It was a great way to end our time in Canada.




Complete organ works of Bach recorded on Metzler

D Goode recordingsIn the summer, David Goode finished the final session of his recording of the complete organ works of J S Bach on the Metzler organ in Chapel, to be released over the coming months.

Volumes 1 to 6 are available to buy from Signum Classics.






Annual Gathering: Saturday 14 July 2018

Chapel smallerThe Annual Gathering on Saturday 14 July is one where the TCCA has been asked to put together a choir, as the current choir will be on tour in Germany.

If you would be interested in singing, please contact Eleanor Lancelot, giving your voice type. The Choir will be directed by Stephen Johns. As always, there will be a feast which will take place after the service.

The Gathering is for the years 1984, 1985 & 1986, but singers who matriculated in other years would also be most welcome.



We want to hear from you!

At the Association’s committee meeting in January, it was suggested that members might enjoy the opportunity to meet with other Choir alumni in a location other than London. If you would be interested in helping to organise or in attending an event outside of London, please get in touch with Eleanor Lancelot:

If you are a Facebook user, we encourage you to join the TCCA page. This is a good way of hearing about events and of keeping in touch with fellow members.

2018 dates for your diary

Trinity College Choir Concert at the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Fen Ditton
Saturday 17 March 2018, 7.30pm. Tickets can be purchase here.

Singing from the Towers
Sunday 10 June 2018, 12.00pm

Singing on the River
Sunday 10 June 2018, 8.45pm

Trinity College Choir Lunchtime Recital, Chapel
Sunday 1 July 2018, 1.00pm. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public, but TCCA members can reserve a space by e-mailing Eleanor Lancelot:

Annual Gathering – TCCA Choir
Saturday 14 July 2018

Stay in touch

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Contact usGet in touch with your comments, pictures, reminiscences, change of contact details, or ideas for future newsletters
Eleanor Lancelot, Music Administrator
Chapel and Music Office, Trinity College, Cambridge CB2 1TQ
01223 761732