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We hope you enjoy reading our latest newsletter, which includes information about the forthcoming TCCA Gathering on Saturday 1 July and Annual Gathering on Monday 15 July. This edition also includes excerpts from the Choir’s blog, written as they toured Hong Kong and Australia last summer, information about a forthcoming CD release, the final Bach at Trinity recital, and also a piece contributed by Marion Williams and Annette Marlow in memory of Peter Williams, Chapel Clerk at Trinity from 1987 to 1998.

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.


TCCA Gathering – Saturday 1 July 2017

We’re very pleased to invite you to the TCCA Gathering which will take place on Saturday 1 July in College. We hope that you will be able to join us for what we’re sure will be a highly enjoyable and memorable event.

For more details about the event, to book, and for information about singing on the day, please click here.

The deadline for bookings is Monday 5 June.

Please do spread the word about this event among fellow TCCA members and we look forward to seeing you there!




Recordings & forthcoming CD releases

In July last year, the Choir made a recording of Stanford choral and organ music. The Choir enjoyed four days of recording in Hereford Cathedral with the Willis organ. The unaccompanied pieces, including the Magnificat for Double Choir, were recorded in Chapel. The CD will be released on 30 June and can be pre-ordered from iTunes by clicking here.

We’re delighted that the Choir’s previous release Howells Collegium Regale was awarded Recording of the Year by Limelight, Australia’s foremost classical music and arts magazine. It was also nominated for a Gramophone Award which was the Choir’s fifth nomination, the Choir’s Howells Requiem winning the Gramophone Award in 2012.

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.


Choir tour to Hong Kong and Australia

The Choir gave a hugely successful tour to Hong Kong and Australia. Here, taken from their tour blog, is a little about what they got up to when not performing.

The Choir arrived in Hong Kong on 9 July and was welcomed by 37 degree heat. This didn’t deter the group, who were invited to dinner at the China Club, housed in the old Bank of China building, with spectacular rooftop views. They were also treated to bubbles and brunch at the Hong Kong Football Club.

On the tour, the Choir performed music by Pärt, Byrd, Tallis, Purcell, Stucky, Ešenvalds, Whitacre, Rautavaara, Łukaszewski and Owain Park, as well as Hymn of Ancient Lands, a new commission by Australian composer Joseph Twist, and the programme’s central work, Frank Martin’s Messe.

In Hong Kong, the Choir performed the tour programme in the Cultural Centre and also gave a performance of music from their Singing on the River concert in the City Hall.

Their first concert in Australia took place in Queensland Performing Arts Centre Concert Hall. The Choir took part in a photoshoot outside the venue, with various members of the group perched precariously on the giant Brisbane sign. They then enjoyed a free day in Brisbane, many visiting the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Some were lucky enough to experience a flight in an original WW1 biplane and a July Christmas party!

The Choir travelled to Melbourne for a concert in Melbourne Recital Centre, before flying to Adelaide for the next leg of the tour.

Before their concert in Adelaide Town Hall, some of the Choir took the opportunity to head out into the Australian Bush, to Mount Lofty (the highest point in the city) and the beach at Glenelg.

They returned to Melbourne, where performing in the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall in the Melbourne Recital Centre was deemed “a treat”. A fabulous acoustic and a striking décor afforded a sense of sanctuary in what was a demanding programme in a busy tour.

From Melbourne, the Choir flew on to Sydney. There was a ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour of the Opera House (including a chance to sing in the Opera Hall!) and some members of the Choir enjoyed watching a magnificent production of Bizet’s Carmen, set in Cuba. Whilst in Sydney, the Choir gave two sold-out concerts in the Recital Hall, Angel Place, with a brief trip to Perth for a concert in Perth Concert Hall squeezed in between. A post-concert reception was generously hosted by the Sydney Cambridge Alumni Society.

Some adventurous members of the Choir caught an early train to the remote town of Katoomba in the stunning Blue Mountains. This offered a change of scene from the bustling big cities and spectacular views of the beautiful Leura Waterfalls. There was also the opportunity to go whale-watching in the Tasman Sea, to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or to visit the organ in Sydney Town Hall, with its impressive 64 foot pedal reed – an attraction to a surprising number of Choir members!

The Choir stopped briefly in Newcastle to give a concert in the City Hall. They had just enough time to see the city-centre and sample a chocolate café! At Canberra, Mount Ainslie offered wonderful views over the city and the chance to see local wildlife, including parakeets, crimson rosellas (a native parrot) and kookaburras before the concert in Llewellyn Hall.

At Hobart, the Choir donned appropriate footwear and braved the snow as they made their way up Mount Wellington, a famous local landmark. The Choir’s penultimate and final performances took place at the Theatre Royal in Hobart.

The thirteen concerts on the tour were well received by the audiences in each venue and had excellent reviews in the press. Limelight magazine said “Trinity College Cambridge is truly the Rolls-Royce of choirs… I have very rarely felt as moved and changed by a performance.”

There were a number of broadcasts on the radio and some TV appearences including on the ABC national news. You can read more reviews and listen to the radio coverage here.

We are very grateful to Cathay Pacific for their support of the tour.


Bach at Trinity: celebrating 40 years of the Metzler

A note from Alexander Hamilton (Artistic Director, Bach at Trinity & Senior Organ Scholar)

Across this academic year, we have enjoyed Bach at Trinity, a celebration of the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach and of the 40th anniversary of the completion of the Metzler.

The concerts have been highly enjoyable, with a large and enthusiastic following. I hope that you will be able to attend one of the remaining concerts. Should you be unable to join us, we are also webcasting every recital live online, and adding tracks to our online Bach Player, an ever-expanding resource of recordings from recitals and services.

The closing recital by David Goode will take place on Saturday 3 June 2017, 7.30pm and will also be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 the following week. For more information about the series, please click here.


Annual Gathering 15 July 2017 – TCCA choir

The Annual Gathering on Saturday 15 July is one where the TCCA has been asked to put together a choir, as the current choir is on tour. If you would be interested in singing, please contact Eleanor Lancelot, giving your voice type. The Gathering is for the years 1981–3, but singers who matriculated in other years would also be most welcome. The Choir will be directed by Stephen Johns and Tim Lole. There is of course the added temptation of the Feast which will take place after the service!


Peter Williams (1926-2016)

We were sorry to hear of the death of Peter Williams, Chapel Clerk at Trinity from 1987 to 1998.

Marion, Peter’s wife, told us a little of his life and how he came to be at Trinity

Peter Williams was born in Wales in 1926. He was sent to an orphanage and was later transferred to Dr Barnardo’s in London at the age of five. Shortly after, he was taken on by a foster family in Halstead, Essex. The family was elderly and they had charge of four other foster children, with whom he had good relationships. It wasn’t necessarily an easy time, but it was a happy one. At the age of fourteen, the family were no longer able to look after Peter and so he left school in order to find work and he was transferred back to Dr Barnardo’s in London.

Whilst in a meeting to discuss what work he might do, he was informed that his brother was in the reception waiting for him, to which he replied “What brother?” They went for a walk to get to know each other, at which point the air raid warnings sounded and they took shelter during heavy bombing of the area. His brother, a naval officer who had to get back to his ship, said that he would get back in touch. That was the last that Peter ever heard of him. (Later in life, Peter’s son managed to trace the brother and find that he had died in his 50s, and that Peter had four nieces. Peter and Marion were subsequently able to get in touch with them and get to know them.)

Peter was sent to the Midlands, where he worked on a farm and then for the Post Office. He was then called up for the War, after which he was transferred to the Cambridge Post Office branch where he worked until he retired at the age of 60.

Peter decided to take a part-time job and saw the job of Trinity College Chapel cleaner advertised. During his time as cleaner, the Chapel Clerk passed away, and in 1987, he was asked to take on this role. He held the position for the next 11 years, retiring from Trinity in 1998 at the age of 71. He said of being cleaner in the Chapel that it was one of the most rewarding things he had done as he got to see the result of his work.

Annette Marlow also shared with us her memories of Peter

“Peter Williams! You got me sent down for two years [pause …] but you were only doing your job”. If that surprised Peter and Marion at a quiet pub lunch, it would also have surprised us who did not know Peter had been a security officer for the Post Office.

Marion, Peter’s wife, who often helped him in chapel, told me that even there he had some exciting moments. At one Sunday Evensong, the Vice-Master leaned over from his stall to whisper “Mr Williams, the altar seems to be on fire”. Peter dealt with the problem with his bare hands and returned unobtrusively to his seat.

His calm attitude must have helped an entranced Advent Carol Service soprano soloist when he arrived at the altar to tell her it was her moment to sing as the organist had stopped playing. (I do not know who it was or how the organist was feeling during the unusually long silence!)

Visitors to the Chapel were equally encouraged by him in various ways. One bride’s mother told him that she was shy about walking alone to her seat. Peter offered her his arm and they proceeded serenely as though this always happened at weddings in Trinity.

The Chapel Clerk before Peter had been in the Services and never gave up his marching step or his steel-tipped shoes. When he died suddenly, Peter took over and gradually accustomed us to not hearing exactly where he was but knowing he would be exactly where he was needed.


Dates for your diary

Bach at Trinity closing recital by David Goode
Saturday 3 June 2017, 7.30pm

Singing from the Towers
Sunday 11 June 2017, 12.00pm

Singing from the River
Sunday 11 June 2017, 8.45pm

TCCA Gathering
Saturday 1 July 2017, 3.30pm

Trinity College Choir Lunchtime Recital at Trinity College Chapel
Saturday 8 July 2017, 1.00pm

Annual Gathering – TCCA Choir
Saturday 15 July 2017

Remembrance Sunday
Sunday 12 November 2017

Alumni Carol Service
Monday 4 December 2017 TBC


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