We hope you enjoy reading the latest news from TCCA and Trinity College Choir. It has been an exciting year for the Choir and for TCCA, including a royal invitation to Buckingham Palace, a record release of choral works by former Trinity organ scholar Owain Park, and two weeks in Germany, where the Choir toured a programme of English and Eastern European choral music.
Thank you very much to all who sang at the Annual Gathering on 14 July, and particular thanks to Stephen Johns for directing and to Eleanor Kornas for playing at this event.
As always, please do get in touch if you would like any further information, or if you have anything you would like including in future newsletters.
- Choir CD release
- Welcome to the new Choir
- TCCA at the Palace
- Choir tour to Germany 2018
- Alumni Carol Service 2018
- Notes for Singers
- Dates for your diary
- Stay in touch
Choir CD release
Gramophone magazine warmly praised the Choir’s performance: “It is inconceivable that these pieces could be performed better; the choral sound is sumptuous, the detail immaculately nurtured by Stephen Layton and the absolute precision of pitching and balancing a joy to behold.” The recording was also selected as BBC Music Magazine’s CD of the Month (Choral and Song).
Owain’s works are published by Novello and have been performed internationally by ensembles including Tenebrae, The Tallis Scholars, the Aurora Orchestra, the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir and The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge. While at Cambridge University he studied composition and orchestration with John Rutter, before undertaking a Masters degree in composition under Jeremy Thurlow and Richard Causton. We hope you enjoy listening!
Copies of recent CDs are available from the Alumni Relations and Development Office (or 01223 761527) and clips from all CDs can be found on the Choir website. All proceeds from CD sales go to the Choir Fund.
To digitally purchase the album from iTunes store, visit:
To purchase high-quality digital audio directly from the Hyperion website, visit:
For more information about our recordings, click here.
Welcome to the new Choir
At the beginning of the new academic year, we welcomed 13 new choir members and the Choir sang their first service of the year, Choral Evensong for the Annual Gathering. That was followed by a feast in the evening, at which the Choir sang Owain Park’s recently commissioned grace, Oculi omnium, and madrigals.
We were also delighted to welcome a new singing teacher to the team: James Oldfield, Choir alumnus and TCCA committee member. James trained at the Royal College of Music and the RCM International Opera School and has since worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, RTÉ Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Hallé, Manchester Camerata, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, De Belgische Kamerfilharmonie, and Northern Sinfonia. His recordings include Handel Messiah with the Huddersfield Choral Society and Monteverdi Vespers. James’ operatic performances have been for Opera North, Garsington, Gothenburg Opera, Israeli Opera, and Royal Opera House 2. James joins Sheila Barnes, Ann De Renais and Roderick Earle in giving singing tuition to Choir members.
TCCA at the Palace
On 22 May 2018, five lucky members of the TCCA Committee attended the 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration of the Prince of Wales in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. We are fortunate enough to have The Prince of Wales as president of the TCCA and, as a result, we were one of his 400 patronages invited to the celebration.
With over 6,000 guests, the gardens were buzzing with activity and excitement, not least because it was the first official engagement of the newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Although meeting any members of the Royal Family proved rather difficult among the throngs, former TCCA chairman, Nicholas Yates, gained special access to the Palace and was in prime position behind the Duchess of Sussex for the official photograph celebrating the day.
The military bands created a wonderful atmosphere in the Palace grounds, and as we ate our way through the beautifully crafted cakes and sandwiches we shared Trinity Choir memories and contemplated TCCA plans for the future. An excellent afternoon out of the office!
Choir tour to Germany 2018
From 8 to 22 July, the Choir toured a programme of English and Eastern European choral works around Germany. Here, you can read a little more about their experiences on the road…
We flew to Düsseldorf, where we received a very warm welcome from our hosts in Korschenbroich. The Choir has been visiting Korschenbroich for many years and we very much value our relationship with the town. On arrival, we were welcomed by our wonderful hosts who treated us to dinner, which included some delicious bratwurst. The following day, we travelled to Kloster Saarn, Mühlheim an der Ruhr, where cakes and coffee awaited us in the lovely Kloster Cafe, prior to our first sell-out concert.
We enjoyed the following morning off, and many of us found ourselves sampling more lovely pastries in the bakery. We then held an open rehearsal in Korschenbroich’s Parish Centre, which was attended by local Directors of Music and some of our hosts. Afterwards, many of us gathered in the local pub to watch the World Cup and enjoy a German beer!
On our third day, we gave a concert in the beautiful Kloster Steinfeld, surrounded by gardens and wonderful scenery. The convent is located on top of a large hill with scenic views. The church itself is very ornate and has a wonderful acoustic. For some of us, it was our second time visiting the Kloster (the Choir performed there in December 2015). It was nice to visit the area in a warmer climate! We were very well looked after and enjoyed kaffe und kuchen in the refectory before our afternoon rehearsal, and then a hearty dinner before the concert. During the breaks we kept our bodies warmed up by playing catch and our minds warmed up by playing bananagrams – not at the same time! The concert went very well, with not one, but two standing ovations.
We then enjoyed a well-deserved day off in Cologne. Most of us climbed the Cathedral tower before lunch, which was very kindly provided by our Korschenbroich hosts. Some of us then visited the Museum Ludwig Köln of modern art, whilst some took a leisurely stroll by the Rhine, and enjoyed an ice cream, or two.
Our third concert took place in the Basilika St Margareta in Düsseldorf. It was a warm and sunny day, and many of us relaxed in the beautiful Basilika gardens (the more energetic ventured further afield to play frisbee!).
We then performed a concert in Brauweiler Abbey, as part of an awards ceremony for Musica Sacra Nova, where the audience was treated to a programme of new compositions, both choral and for organ, which we had workshopped at the open rehearsal in Korschenbroich. Prizes were then awarded to the composers of the winning pieces.
Our last concert in the north-western region of Germany took place in St Andreas Church, in Korschenbroich, our host town. The audience was very enthusiastic and our hosts very kindly provided a wonderful meal after the concert, which included a wide variety of German delicacies. We then took the opportunity to catch up on the Wimbledon and World Cup finals!
The following day, we travelled south to Worms, where we enjoyed a free afternoon exploring the town, many of us visiting the Heiliger Sand, one of the oldest surviving Jewish cemeteries in Europe. On our second day in Worms, we sang Evensong in the monastery of St Paulus. The turn-out was incredible, with many people standing in the aisles, and some finding their way to the organ loft! The brothers then treated us to a super canapé reception in the stunning cloister garden. It was a very special occasion and we felt extremely privileged to be so warmly welcomed.
Our next stop was the idyllic town of Schwäbisch Gmünd where we performed at the Heilig-Kreuz-Münster as part of the Festival Europäische Kirchenmusik. We enjoyed exploring the surrounding countryside, with some members stretching their legs in the local town of Lorch. The adventure continued the following morning with a trip to the lido. We were blown away by the audience reception at our evening concert, which was also broadcast on the radio. The happy atmosphere continued as we celebrated fourth year alto Kate’s birthday after the concert.
The following morning, we travelled to Frankfurt. Lots of us used our free time between rehearsals to explore the city – it was lovely to wander through the streets and sit by the river. Later that day, we performed in Frankfurt Cathedral, a cavernous, red-stone building with a huge acoustic. We also enjoyed listening to the immensely powerful organ, just about leaving with our hearing intact!
Our final concert venue was the magnificent domed Cathedral, Sankt Blasien, which boasts one of the largest domes in Europe and is built from stunning white marble. Our journey took us deep into the Black Forest, and we were lucky to see some of the beautiful surrounding countryside from the coach. We arrived quite early and took the opportunity to explore the local markets, and watch rehearsals of a local festival which was to take place on the steps of the Dom and in the huge plaza beyond it. The concert itself was a very special occasion, and was, for quite a few Choir members, their last public performance as part of the Choir. We would have loved to stay longer in this beautiful part of the world and are very grateful to our hosts for such a brilliant visit.
There was no time for catching up on sleep the following day! Our alarms were set for 6.00am and we were on the road by 7.00am, travelling back to the UK via Germany, France and Switzerland (flying from Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg airport which borders all three) with very happy memories of a wonderful tour.
Notes for Singers
Chris Knowles (TCC 1969-72) has written a book on singing which was published by The Book Guild on 28th November.
Chris has spent a lifetime working in professional music. After a dozen years in the choir stalls (first at Trinity, and then at Winchester and Salisbury Cathedrals), he worked for a decade as a freelance baritone, initially with the BBC Singers and then at Kent Opera, the Royal Opera House and Opera North before spending just short of thirty years as director of an international agency for singers, conductors and directors. So, he has experienced singing at the highest level on both sides of the curtain. Teaching singing is an ongoing passion and takes him weekly to Cambridge, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. He also has a studio in Ely.
A note from Chris about the book:
“Notes for Singers invites singers to think through familiar aspects of their singing in ways they may never have considered before. Contrary to much current practice, singing is not about doing, but about thinking, feeling and creating the right circumstances for our voices to work in. Chris offers ways to re-think our approach, allowing our voices to work naturally. Singers often attribute their technical difficulties to breathing problems, but breathing plays only a secondary role: singing develops breathing, not breathing singing. If the mental approach to singing is right, the breath will largely take care of itself.”
Alumni Carol Service 2018
The Alumni Carol Service took place in Temple Church on Monday 3 December 2018.
The choir for this service was formed of TCCA members and we are very grateful to Michael Waldron for conducting, Laurence Williams for accompanying, and Tom Dupernex for organising the choir.
It was a wonderful occasion, both musically and socially, with music by Clemens non Papa, Zespedes, Vaughan Williams and Venables.
2019 dates for your diary
Tuesday 5 February 2019, 7.00pm, The Drawing Room, Pennethorne’s at Somerset House
As the room has limited capacity, it is essential that you book your place in advance.
Please click here to book.
Trinity College Choir in concert with Yale Glee Club
Saturday 16 March 2019, 12.00 noon, Trinity College Chapel.
Admission is free and open to all, but TCCA members can reserve a space by e-mailing Eleanor Lancelot.
Singing on the River
Sunday 9 June 2019, 8.45pm, River, Trinity College. Admission is free and open to all.
Please enter Trinity College via the back gate on Queen’s Road or the Great Gate on Trinity Street.
Stay in touch
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Eleanor Lancelot, Music Administrator
Chapel and Music Office, Trinity College, Cambridge CB2 1TQ