Hatfield College Chapel Choir Tour to Lake Como, Italy – Summer 2019
Wednesday 31st July – Wednesday 7th August 2019
College Chapel Choir Tours are always an incredible experience and opportunity for all involved. This Summer, the Chapel Choir of Hatfield College were graciously supported by Hatfield Trust to visit Lake Como, in the Northern region of Italy, for a little over a week to sing a number of performances, including two recitals and a Sung Eucharist.
The trip was a baptism of fire for the choir’s new Director of Music, Miles MacLachlan, who was appointed in the weeks leading up to the Summer Holidays, but his ability to rehearse and conduct the choir were skilful and reliable – the performances were to be a success.
The first performance would be in the format of a formal recital in the Anglican Church of the Ascension in Cadenabbia, a short bus ride from our accommodation in Menaggio. Armed with a day and a half of rehearsals, the choir performed a variety of styles of music to a jam-packed church; with music covering a huge period of time – from the Tudor Motet If Ye Love Me by Thomas Tallis to a contemporary arrangement of the folk song Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron by John Rutter. A retiring collection in aid of the church saw a huge amount of money raised for the church, as English-speaking natives and British holidaymakers seemingly flocked to the church – much to the merit of the resident Priest Revd. Roger Williams, who did a huge amount of advertising throughout the Summer leading up to the concert.
The choir also had the opportunity to lead many of the congregation of the Church of the Ascension through a Sung Eucharist, with the Missa Brevis mass setting by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, the anthem Salve Regina by Franz Liszt, and organ voluntaries played by our Organ Scholar Anastasia Kell and the church’s home organist. The service was a beautiful and thought-provoking, with the polyphony of the mass setting ringing in the acoustic of the church, and a wonderful sermon on “The Forms of Love: All Human” by Revd. R. Williams.
The Tour would be rounded off by a short Informal Recital in the Piazza di Garibaldi, in Menaggio where many friendly faces met over the week came to see the choir perform in the square. The performance would prove challenging, as there was no rehearsal time in the venue – which was bound to be less forgiving than the acoustic of the church. The performance was well received by the gathered crowd, and the friendly and casual atmosphere was a refreshing and satisfying end to the performances of the week.
A final thanks again is reserved for the Hatfield Trust for contributing to the funding of the trip, as it would not have been possible without this support.