On Sabbatical with the Betenbaughs

October 4, 2004

Gordon and Barbara Betenbaugh are organists/choirmasters at First Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. They also direct Cantate, the Children's Choir of Central Virginia, and Mrs. Betenbaugh is chapel organist and assistant choral director at Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg. Mr. Betenbaugh is Dean of the Lynchburg AGO chapter. In summer 2003 they completed a 13-week sabbatical in the UK, visiting Cambridge, Oxford, London, and Salisbury. See previous articles from their sabbatical: "London Chats #1: Michael McCarthy," October 2003, p. 18; "John Tavener's The Veil of the Temple," November 2003, p. 17; "Cambridge Chats #1: Timothy Byram-Wigfield," December 2003, pp. 16-19; "London Chats #2: Patrick Russill," February 2004, pp. 20-22; and "Cambridge Chats #2: Sarah MacDonald," August 2004, pp. 18-21.

Our raison d'être normal'> for this sabbatical to England was to study the choir training
techniques and organs in cathedrals, parish churches and universities, and to
hear the music in the architectural and acoustical environment as envisioned by
many of the English composers. We spent four weeks in Cambridge, 10 days in
Oxford, and the balance of our time in London with a side trip to Salisbury. We
had contacted directors via e-mail a year before our departure, and everyone we
met was cordial and welcoming from our initial meeting in cyberspace through
our actual visit. One of the nicest amenities was having greater access than
the normal tourist to these wonderful venues.

During our time away, we kept a tally of the various
activities we attended and were surprised to discover how numerous and myriad
they were: 52 rehearsals, 36 Evensongs, 15 Eucharists, 5 Matins, 5 Evening
Prayer services, 4 Benedictions, 16 sermons, 2 memorial services and one
wedding, 16 organ recitals, 26 museums, 15 concerts, 3 theater performances, 4
interviews, 1 musical, 4 palace tours, 1 foundry tour, 1 opera, 1 mosque tour,
one botanical gardens visit, 5 movies, and last but not least, 3 choral music
premieres. Our time away was busy and intense! We returned home rejuvenated and
with a greater understanding of the English choral system in collegiate and
ecclesiastical foundations and also with memories of many new friends and
colleagues.

Thursday, May 8

We arrived in Cambridge right on time. Our B&B is
beautiful with cheerful yellow and greens. We have our own entrance and our own
patio with a lovely, lush garden. We walked into town to the visitor center to
get maps and an events calendar. Now we are set! Then we went to the public
library where Barbara gets her library card, a necessity! Over our three months
in England, Barbara makes friends with mystery writers of the British
persuasion. Then it was on to King's College Chapel for Evensong. Every
Thursday is sung Eucharist. We hear the Kodály Missa Brevis and
Messiaen's O Sacrum Convivium--what
a joy to be in this great space. It's where our hearts and souls belong.
We then head down the street to St. John's College for Evensong (Blow Mag
& Nunc in F, Gibbons
We Praise Thee, O Father style='font-style:normal'>). There's great music making in this space.
After our long flight, what a way to end the day and start off our three months
away.

Friday, May 9

8:10-9:10 rehearsal at St. John's choir school
where the boys wear red blazers, red ties and gray pants. Christopher Robinson
rehearses the Weelkes Gloria in excelsis Deo, a psalm and the Hunt short
service. Christopher says the boys see a piece only once before performing it,
maybe twice. "Some of the quicker boys are better than the weaker
men." Peter Barley from St. Pat's Cathedral Dublin was also
visiting. Christopher asks for volunteers to sing the chant. Choristers are
very helpful to each other. In the traditional English manner, any chorister that
makes a mistake raises his hand (adults and boys). It's a very orderly
rehearsal. Choristers mark music and often mark a partner's music if he
makes a mistake. There was little warm up, most of the time was spent on music.
As the piano is played, the soprano line is never played, so the boys must be
independent. This technique is used by everyone in England.

After rehearsal we take a long stroll through the campus
from "the backs." We find the Internet Café and Great St.
Mary's, a church shared by the parish and the university. There are
organs front and back. The front chancel organ dates from 1869 with numerous
rebuilds, the last in 1974 by Johnson & Sons. This organ is owned by the
church. The rear balcony organ is a 3-manual Hill, Norman & Beard and is
owned by the university. Cromwell burned the Prayer Book here outside the
church, which is now advertising for an organist/choirmaster. We hear that 17
men have applied, but no women. At 1:15 there is a free recital at Clare
College, a Mozart Clarinet Quintet which
is superb! We have lunch at the Hogshead Pub. Steak and ale pie with chips and
mushy peas is a typical meal. On to St. Benet's for change ringing. Then
to St. Botolph's (patron saint of travelers), in use since 1320. On to
Pembroke College. The chapel at Pembroke is Wren's first work. It looks
better inside than out. The organ is a 1980 2-manual Mander. Anne Page teaches
organ here. Onward to see Little St. Mary's and Peterhouse College before
hurrying back for a 5:05 rehearsal at St. John's. We enter through the
back choir door thanks to Christopher so we don't have to queue like
regular visitors. Rehearsal and Evensong were great, wonderful music making.
The previously heard Weelkes took on a life of its own. Chats after Evensong
and then to the pub. Life doesn't get any better than this for two
Anglophiles. Finally we head to our B&B in time for Barb to read a bit and
Gordon to read the piles of materials gleaned through the day.

Saturday, May 10

Walked through the old cemetery looking at dates. St. Giles
is closed, so we visit The Round Church with its great history. We explore the
town today and return early to St. John's to listen to the organ scholar
practice for Evensong. The 6:30 Evensong is sung jointly by the college choir
and members of the City of Birmingham Choir. We hear the Finzi Mag, Holst Nunc,
Vaughan Williams Rise Heart, Thy Lord Is Risen normal'> and Antiphon. Christopher has directed the Birmingham Choir for 38
years (70-80 singers present). He is a stickler about the rhythm of
dotted notes. We had a choice of six concerts today. We heard the superb
Rodolfus Choir in an all-German program at Clare College. Singers are chosen
from past and present Eton Choral Choruses. There were 23 singers (7-5-5-6).

Sunday, May 11

It's Mother's Day! We go to St. John's
10:30 Eucharist and hear Palestrina's Ego sum style='font-style:normal'> and Victoria's O Quam gloriosum style='font-style:normal'>. We have lunch at The Eagle, an authentic old pub
where many RAF and USAF soldiers spent their time during WWII. Their names are
signed on the ceiling in the bar. We then have a quick stroll through Jesus
College. We go back to Great St. Mary's and listen to a student practice
on the Johnson front organ as we rest our tired feet. At the 3:30 Evensong at
King's we hear the Stanford in G, Hadley My Beloved Spake style='font-style:normal'>, Vierne Finale normal'>. At the end of the service the great West door is opened to the
"backs" for our exit. WOW! What a vista! We hear the tolling peals
at Great St. Mary's across the street, and Barb calls our children to
speak to them on Mother's Day. They can hear the bells across the
Atlantic through the red phone booth! On to St. John's for a 6:00 organ
recital by James O'Donnell of Westminster Abbey. He played the Bach
partita Sei gegrüsset with
an unfortunate cypher which disappeared quickly. At the 6:30 Evensong we hear
the Parry in D (
The Great Service)
and Elgar's
Light of the World.
The choir is very musical and has the best tenors in Cambridge. They sing with
a full, robust sound.

Monday, May 12

We shop and buy some CDs. We walk through
"Christ's Pieces", a big green with an arbor in the middle
with a rose garden dedicated to the memory of Princess Diana. On to the chapel
of Emmanuel College, from which John Harvard (founder of Harvard University in
the U.S.) was a graduate. We find the University Arms Hotel where we stayed in
1993. On to Christ College with a lovely modern window that shows Christ on a
cloud over the college. There was a queue for King's Evensong even in the
rain. The King's Voices (mixed choir) sing the Fauré Cantique
de Jean Racine
, Noble B-minor Mag
& Nunc
and RVW O Taste and
See
. The mixed choir is just a good college
choir compared to the choir of boys and men. The sun just came out through the
west end windows and the birds are singing.

Tuesday, May 13

We step in Fitzwilliam College, built in the 1960s and very
modern. The chapel (1990) is in the round, and the inside is shaped to suggest
Noah's Ark. The beautiful grounds were full of blooming flowers in
yellow, purple, lavender, blue, white and pink, not to mention the roses, red
tips and rhododendrons. After a long walk to Churchill College the porter gave
us the key to the chapel that was at the far end of all the buildings on
campus. It was an unimpressive room but still had a small pipe organ. We saw
good music all around the console. A sign in the porter's lodge says: In
Cambridge "porter" means keeper of the gate, not carrier of the
baggage. On to Robinson College Chapel, which is rectangular and with very
straight lines. It had a two-manual 1981 Frobenius tracker with four general
pistons. A lot of organ lessons are taught here. On to the Cambridge University
Music School, the nice concert hall and the King's College School.

We had a late lunch in a pub and then on to Brian Jones
Music Shop where we dropped a few £s. It was still raining as we went off
to Clare College which has a 1971 two-manual Von Beckerath and an 18th-century
Snetzler used to accompany the choir in early repertoire. This superb mixed
choir sings three Choral Evensongs each week on Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays.
The choir tours are free to members of the choirs, and per diems and fees are
frequently paid to them. The psalms are sung without a conductor. A chorister
in the back row assists with coordination of the chant.

Sir David Willcocks was the guest conductor on this day. The
Clare conductor, Tim Brown, introduced Sir David to the choir. Later in a chat
he said that his young choristers probably had no idea what a great man was
conducting and what all Sir David had done for English music. As ever,
Willcocks was alert to tuning in this fine choir. It was good to chat with Sir
David after Evensong. Only 14 people were at Evensong, but no one is bothered
by the small attendance.

Wednesday, May 14

Got caught in rain and hail on the way to Magdalen College
(pronounced "maudlin"). The organ was built in 2000 by Goetze and
Gwynn and has 24 stops. The inspiration behind its design comes from Father
Smith's later instruments. The tuning is Kellner's reconstruction
of Bach's tuning from his Well-Tempered Clavier style='font-style:normal'>. The chapel is smaller and more intimate than most
Cambridge chapels. Much of the Victorian stained glass still remains. Most of
the glass focuses on Mary Magdalen (usually with her emblem, a jar of precious
ointment) and the life of Christ. There is a slate tablet in the antechapel to
mark the centenary of the birth of C.S. Lewis (1898-1963).

We got caught in more hail on the way to the Fitzwilliam
Museum to see the Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Cyprus galleries. Some things were
four thousand years old. In the upper galleries we saw THE Fitzwilliam
Virginal Book
. The display was covered to
protect it from light. It contains 297 compositions by practically every
composer of the virginalist school. The manuscript is the best and most precise
we have ever seen. The museum building is amazing, polished marble with
figurines all around, a dome gilded roof and mosaic floor. We drop some more
£s at the gift shop.

Out in the rain again to Our Lady and the English Martyrs.
This is the biggest Roman Catholic church in town. The Abbott & Smith
romantic organ in the south transept has been renovated by Nicholson. We hope
to get to hear the instrument. Sarah MacDonald of Selwyn College recorded the
Howells Evening Canticles here, and the organ sounds wonderful on the CD. At
the end of a cold and wet day we find a Pizza Hut for some comfort food before
going back to Clare College for rehearsal and Evensong, and then to Trinity
College for a delightful chamber music concert with recorder, baroque
violoncello and 1972 David Rubio harpsichord. We get back to our B&B late
and tired but with a great feeling for what all we packed into one day.

Thursday May 15

Regular tourist stuff! Lunch at the Baron of Beef Pub
(Publick House) where George Guest used to slip over from St. John's for
a pint between rehearsals and Evensong. Got a haircut at a
"Gentleman's Barber," which turned out to a hair scalping. On
to Clare College for rehearsal. The superb choir is rehearsing an extremely
difficult piece in Hebrew by a Jewish student. They rehearsed the first
American piece that we have heard (Randall Stroope's How Can I Keep
from Singing
?) to be performed on Sunday
with the McMurry University Choir from Abilene. The last hymn was
Lord
of the Dance
, in a rather staid English
manner. Only 11 people were at Evensong. There were 15 last night. We exit by
the Fellows Garden on the backs--so beautiful! Back at our B&B we
finish our last cookies from a care package one of our favorite sopranos packed
for us for our trip. We update photos in our albums. We're doing this as
we go along, because putting together three months of photos upon our return
would be a daunting task.

Friday, May 16

It rains again all day and is chilly and breezy. The rain
doesn't bother the locals--they are always out and about. We see more
tourist sights in the morning, then drop some more £s for books and CDs
of Charles Wood's choral music. On to Sidney-Sussex College Chapel.
It's lovely with lots of carved wood. A 2-manual 1963 Harrison &
Harrison with 5 thumb pistons each to Gt and Sw, 5 toe pistons to Ped, 1 thumb
piston labeled Oboe 8'--no obligatory harmonic flute 8'.
Perhaps the Gt open flute will do the trick. The college doesn't have a
faculty organist but two organ scholars run the program. We saw yellow
"stickies" on the side jamb with circles drawn in them to resemble
draw knobs. One said "Preacher Trap Door." The two available
"buttons" read "open" and "closed." The
"closed" showed flames underneath. Another "button"
read "electrical shock for SATB." The organist here must have a fun
sense of humor.

Back to King's for Evensong rehearsal and a chat with
Stephen Cleobury. Rehearsal began
with Psalm 121 of Davies on the syllable YA, led by back row choristers on each
side. They point it differently from the way we do it. Stephen stands in the
middle with a special podium that has a mike built in so the organ scholars up
on the screen can hear his instructions. He speaks softly. All the choristers
are very focused. They sang the Wood Oculi omnium normal'>, Byrd First Service,
Rachmaninoff
Blagoslovén griadiy normal'>. We didn't know the Rachmaninoff, which is a benediction text,
lovely and lush. The boy choristers keep a finger on their line of music as
they sing. For Evensong, Stephen tells the vergers we are his guests and to let
us sit on the top row which is reserved for the fellows and members of the
college only. We have a chat with the two organ scholars in the loft after
Evensong. What a treat to see the big Harrison & Harrison
"accompanying machine" up close. A Bass Flute is in the stairwell,
and the 32' goes the length of the screen. It really purrs!

We finish our day at the Internet Café where we check
e-mail and write a recommendation for one of our choristers to attend the RSCM
School at Washington Cathedral.

Saturday May 17

At 8:00 a.m. we are sitting in the rehearsal room of the
King's College School. Photos of past choirmasters and LP covers from
past years (mostly Willcocks recordings) cover one whole wall. Since it's
Saturday the boys are dressed casually. They have a short warmup. Little piano
is used, and the melody is never played. An organ scholar goes behind the boys
to remind them to sit up straight. Stephen is a stickler for final
"D" consonant even in the midst of a phrase, also a stickler for
having the choristers watch him. These 18 choristers are very disciplined.

Off to Trinity College for a LONG re-creation (performance
reconstruction) of a Morning Prayer Service and sermon from the Chapel Royal of
Charles I from April 1629. Men were seated on one side, and women on the other
to make this event more authentic. There was 1 hour and 10 minutes of choral
matins before the sermon. The Trinity College Chapel was completed in 1566, and
the music for the service was chosen with the aim of reflecting the type of
music that may have been performed at court in 1629. As the premier musical
institution in Tudor-Stuart England, the Chapel Royal had brilliant organists
like William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons, and Thomas Tomkins. The music was performed
by the Junior and Senior organ scholars with a pick-up choir from Trinity,
King's, Gonville & Caius, Pembroke and Lucy Cavendish Colleges. The 1
hour 7 minute sermon, written by John Donne (Dean of St. Paul's, London)
was read by a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. Numerous people left during the
reading of the sermon, and afterwards one can imagine the range of comments
regarding its length. This made us appreciate our 15-20 minute sermons at
home! Most people headed for the pub after the service, but it remained the
topic of conversation around town for several days.

The day ended with rehearsal and Evensong at King's.
The Introit was This Joyful Eastertide
(Charles Wood), Howells' Mag & Nunc Gloucester Service and the Wesley
Blessed Be the God and Father.
Junior Organ Scholar Ashley Grote played an organ recital at 6:30 consisting of
Wild Bells (Michael Berkeley), Psalm
Prelude Set 1 No. 1
(Howells), Sonata
No. 1 in E-flat
(Bach), Chanson
de Matin
(Elgar) and Pomp and
Circumstance March No. 1
(Elgar). This was
the perfect end to a long day of great music making.

Sunday, May 18 (Easter IV)

The 10:30 Sung Eucharist at King's was the
Kodály Missa Brevis. The soprano
high C's were wonderful and just floated! This was our second time to
hear the Kodály at King's. We have not yet figured out their rotation
schedule. After lunch we visited Downing College which is much newer than most.
There were two nice harpsichords in the narthex and a small 1966 J.W. Walker
tracker. The music program is run by organ scholars. Katie Collinson is the
Senior. Our B&B hostess had insisted we frequent Fitzbillie's Bakery,
but unfortunately it was closed today--some other time!

On to Peterhouse College where the case and much of the
pipework date from Snetzler's organ of 1765, rebuilt by Mander in 1963.
Five pistons to Gt, Sw, Ch and Ped, no generals. Next to Queen's College
Chapel where the 3-manual organ has a red case by Bodley from 1892. In 1966
E.J. Johnson & Son overhauled the instrument. It has 4 thumb pistons to Gt
and Sw and 4 toe pistons each to Gt and Sw.

Next stop was St. Catherine's College Chapel where the
instrument, built by E.J. Johnson & Son in 1978, retained the double case
of Thomas Garner from 1894. The scheme of the present organ was drawn up by Dr.
Peter LeHuray, Fellow of the College. We were fortunate to hear Alexander
Finch, Director of Chapel Music, practicing for his 5:15 recital. The 3-manual
instrument was very impressive in the empty room. Messiaen came off very well.

After a stop at the Internet Café, on to King's
Evensong; we hear the Mag & Nunc Fifth Service by Tomkins and the Byrd Christ
Rising
again. We had a snack in the market,
and then on to St. John's for an organ recital before Evensong by Oliver
Lallemant, organ scholar at Trinity--all Bach:
Fantasy and Fugue
in G minor, Trio super Allein Gott and Fantasy
normal'>and Fugue in C minor. At
our second Evensong we heard the Daniel Purcell in E minor and the Byrd
Victimae
Paschali
. There is usually a sermon on
Sundays at Evensong, but mercifully it is short.

We found the Castle Mound on the way home; we will visit
another day. Our feet can't take any extra steps tonight. We arrived home
at last with lots of glorious music heard and architecture seen today.
We've lots to read and organize tonight.

Monday May 19

Went to the American Cemetery. It was very moving sitting in
the chapel, and we had not realized how many American soldiers are buried in
Cambridge. The visitor's center displayed two very moving poems, which we
were glad to have for our scrapbook. We took the bus tour around Cambridge and
saw three more colleges: St. Edmunds, Lucy Cavendish (for mature women) and
Darwin. Cambridge has 31 colleges and four theological colleges.

After a busy day of sightseeing we end the day at
King's Evensong sung by the King's Voices, a mixed choir. We heard
the RVW O Taste and See, the Mathias Mag
& Nunc Jesus College Service and the Hadley
My Beloved Spake style='font-style:normal'>. We later learn that Tim Byram-Wigfield of Jesus
College was the organist for this service.

Tuesday, May 20

We visit the Cambridge Folk Museum and shop before going to
Jesus College Chapel to rehearsal. The chapel is very dark, has a small nave
and a big crossing that had two grand pianos, two harpsichords and two
portative organs as well as a set of tympani. There are two organs in the nave
on the north side. The ceiling was very colorful with coats of arms and
cherubs. Tim Byram-Wigfield is the organist. They begin each rehearsal with a
hymn and then the psalm on YA-YA. Tim pushes final consonants. The choristers
are very attentive. There were 10 girls and 11 men plus one of the two organ
scholars singing. The English tradition of raising a hand if you make a mistake
is continued here. Word stress is excellent. There were only eleven people at
Evensong, but we could also hear the birds singing outside along with the
choir.

Wednesday, May 21

We went to the Classical Archeology Museum this morning.
Everything here was a plaster cast copy of pieces in London, Rome, Athens,
Paris. On to Pembroke to try to contact Anne Page who teaches organ there. On
to Corpus Christi Chapel which was locked, but we could see through the glass
doors.

We FINALLY get sweets at the famous Fitzbillie's
Bakery and then went to the library to exchange books before going to Jesus
College for the boys' rehearsal.

Thursday, May 22

We do laundry and get organized in the morning, update all
our photos in the scrapbook, etc. We then pick up some music from Tim Brown at
Clare College. We spent the afternoon at the Arts Theater where we saw Mrs.
Warren's Profession
by George Bernard
Shaw. It starred Twiggy, the super-thin model from the'60s. Twiggy is no
longer a twig!

During Evensong at Jesus College we heard the Tallis O
Nata lux
, Gibbons short service and
Rutter's
Gaelic Blessing.
This is the first time we have heard Rutter's music in Cambridge.

Friday, May 23

Finally get to the top of Castle Mound for a photo op, the
mound being all that is left of the medieval fortification. Then we go to
Kettle's Yard Art Museum and Concert Venue which is next door to St.
Peter's 11th-century delightful tiny church. Part of the museum at
Kettle's Yard is the home of Jim Ede. He donated his house and art
collection to Cambridge. It was fascinating seeing art, china, rocks, all
together and abiding peacefully just as it was when Mr. Ede lived there. We then
went to the modern gallery where there were pen and ink drawings and some
modern paintings of graffitied walls and trash in the streets.

Lunch was back at the Baron of Beef pub and then we sat in
the yard of the Round Church and watched the world go by before our delightful
interview with Tim Byram-Wigfield at Jesus College (see The Diapason style='font-style:normal'>, December 2003 issue). Following the interview we
went to the mixed choir rehearsal and heard Set Me as a Seal style='font-style:normal'> (Walton), Ascendit Deus, style='font-style:normal'>and O Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem style='font-style:normal'> (Howells). The choristers are very focused. Tim
asked them to "lay the consonants on top of the vowels."

Saturday, May 24

We attended a light-hearted concert at Clare Chapel given by
The Duke's Men of Yale, 10 singers in close harmony, most of the pieces fast
and fun. Clare's men's ensemble of five also sang, and they were
even better. Back to Jesus College for rehearsal. Tim vocalized for a while.
The Psalm was rehearsed on NAH by the 13 boys. King's, St. John's
and Jesus College are the only three boys choirs in Cambridge. The Jesus boys
are volunteer choristers and are not in the same league with the other two, but
they are very good and sing a lot of rep for not having a rehearsal every day.

Sunday, May 25 (Rogation Sunday)

Went to sung Eucharist at King's (Lassus Missa
"Bell" amfitrit' altera) with sermon. At King's 3:30
Evensong we hear the Stanford Mag & Nunc in B-flat and Lord, Thou Hast
Been Our Refuge
(Ives). King's always
has a large congregation at Evensong.

On to Evensong rehearsal at Trinity: Bach Nun komm, der
heiden Heiland and Fantasy
and
Fugue in C minor
, our first time to hear
the Mag & Nunc sung to Anglican chant. We also hear Arvo Pärt's
I
Am the True Vine
.

The 1975
Metzler is, of course, on the screen within the restored 1708 Bernard Smith
main case and the Chair case is even earlier. The Hauptwerk Principal 16',
8', 4', 22?3', Rückpositive 8' Principal,
and Pedal 16' Principal are from the Smith organ. The old 1913 Harrison
was used in the King's College recording of Anglican Chant Volume I with
David Willcocks playing and conducting (one of our favorite recordings). The
keyboards of the old Harrison are at the top of the stairs up to the organ. We
noticed two choir pistons engraved Clarinet and Harmonic Flute, a must for any
English organist to interpret the choral literature. The Metzler is an
outstanding instrument with a large Sw and no pistons. Director Richard Marlow
isn't here tonight, and the two organ scholars do a fine job of
rehearsing. Trinity is the silver slipper of the Cambridge colleges, the
college of RVW and Stanford with lovely windows showing George Herbert, Bacon,
Elizabeth I, Wycliffe, Tyndale. There are also many statues in the antechapel.
The mixed choir of 25 rehearsed the Stanford Coelos ascensit hodie style='font-style:normal'> for Ascension Day next Thursday (this is our
choir's favorite Ascension Day anthem--and it was nice to hear it in
the room for which it was written). The center aisle is wider than at most
colleges, thus more separation in the two choirs. The psalms were rehearsed on "la"
or "li-la."

We left Trinity after rehearsal to attend Evensong at
Gonville & Caius (pronounced "keys") to hear the Britten
Rejoice in the Lamb, which was excellent. There was only a four-minute sermon,
hurrah! The 37-stop organ is a 1981 Klais of Bonn, Germany with a large Sw and
8 general pistons. Gonville & Caius is where Charles Wood presided. Dr.
Geoffrey Webber has recorded two volumes of Wood's anthems and organ
music.

Monday, May 26

It is a gorgeous day--sunny and not too cool or hot. We
had been waiting for this kind of weather for our next out of town trip, so we
took the bus to Anglesy Abbey. It never was an abbey, but it was a priory until
Henry VIII closed them all. The house is fabulous! The guidebook was very
helpful, and we read it thoroughly in every room. What a collection of
furniture, art, animals, birds, images of Windsor Castle, books, walking
sticks, silver and a large Steinway. There were huge beautiful gardens with
flowers and a water wheel. It was a wonderful day to relax in leisure in a
beautiful spot.

Tuesday, May 27

Another beautiful day. We visit the library to return and
check out books. We then met Richard Marlow at Trinity College for choir
rehearsal. Four of his choristers have perfect pitch. About one third of the 60
music majors have perfect pitch. We hear the Reger Benedictus and Introduction
and Passacaglia in D. The choir sings Ergebung normal'> (Wolf), O Tod, wie bitten bist du normal'> (Reger) and the Stanford Mag & Nunc in G (another of our
choir's favorites). Also hear the Davies God Be in My Head style='font-style:normal'>. This is another excellent choir! Richard Marlow
wrote the Psalm Chant, which was a bit dissonant with close harmony. Trinity is
the only place that sings Anglican chant a cappella. Richard's wife,
Annette, brought music for us and sat with us at Evensong. Afterwards we were
invited for "a sherry" and to see Richard's rooms and then
into a private gated garden off the oldest part of the college. It extends back
to the River Cam very near St. John's College from which one can see the
Bridge of Sighs. We had a delightful evening talking shop. Trinity is the
school of T. A. Walmisley, Charles Stanford (organist 1874-93) and Ralph
Vaughan Williams. The list of "Trinity Men" is staggering with the
royal family, poets, prime ministers and other noted people, men of science and
mathematics, classical scholars, philosophers, historians, judges and lawyers,
Ecclesiastics, Divines and other writers.

Wednesday, May 28

We visit the zoology museum. We learned about Voluta musica,
one of the family of vo

Related Content

August 04, 2014
Despite the best efforts of Winter Storm Hercules, all but one of our group of seventeen made it to Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport as scheduled on…
April 09, 2004
George Sand, one of the most prolific French writers in the 19th century, toured Switzerland in the company of Franz Liszt in 1836. She described…
April 09, 2004
It was my great pleasure to play a recital on a historic organ during the sixth international historic organs festival in the Biella area in…