Dr Lisa MacKenzie, our first Choral Scholar, joined some of the Cathedral Choir on their recent tour to Barcelona. Here Lisa describes what they got up to...
In July a group of singers from the Cathedral Choir (past and present, young and slightly more mature!) went on tour to Barcelona, representing St Barnabas at a range of splendid venues around this beautiful city.
We started our week by singing during Mass at Barcelona Cathedral, where we received a very warm welcome from the clergy and congregation alike, with some younger members even queuing to have
photographs taken with choir members afterwards.
Girona Cathedral provided us with an amazing acoustic, Sagrada Familia was an incredible building which I cannot even attempt to describe, and Montserrat Abbey was as ornate as it was spiritual - hopefully our performance in the Basilica, including music by Casals, originally written for their choir, added to the atmosphere for the hundreds of people who were visiting this special place of pilgrimage.
We sang some old favourites including pieces by Tallis, Lassus and Bruckner as well as one of Alex's own compositions and also tackled some new and challenging music. Górecki's Totus Tuus was very well received at every performance, along with the hauntingly beautiful Mother of God, here I stand by Tavener which seemed to touch people of all nationalities whether they understood the English words or not!
Between masses and concerts, we were also able to fit in lots of sightseeing. Performing at several of the key attractions got us off to a great start and we enjoyed tours of Barcelona Cathedral and Sagrada Familia as well as exploring the rest of the city and sampling some delicious Catalan cuisine. We visited Park Güell, learnt all about Cava at a local vineyard and even squeezed in a relaxing afternoon on the beach, all whilst eating lots of ice cream!
This very talented group of singers did a fabulous job representing the Cathedral and it was a real privilege to sing with them again – thank you to Alex, Leah and everyone else who put in so much hard work behind the scenes!