School choir swaps Harrogate for Italy in end of year tour

St Aidan’s Sixth Form Chamber Choir were treated to a concert tour of Italy at the end of their studies in the summer.

Monday, 22nd September 2014, 5:30 pm
St Aidan's choir during their tour in Tuscany. (S)
St Aidan's choir during their tour in Tuscany. (S)

The 50-strong choir, under the guidance of their director of music Mark Pallant, travelled to Tuscany and performed in Siena, Florence, and Montecatini during the tour which is the school’s third trip to Italy in six years.

Their concert at the University Church in Siena came shortly after an impromptu rendition on the steps of the church, which generated quite an audience.

Mr Pallant said: “The Italian trip gives a fantastic experience for singers, it is the perfect place to go because it is unforgettable to sing that kind of music in that kind of place.

“The driving force behind going to Tuscany is that when I was not much older than our students I was part of a choir that sang in Italy and it made such an impression on me with some unforgettable memories, so I wanted to provide the kind of experience for our students that will stay with them for a long time.

“For young singers to perform wonderful music in stunning buildings in the warm Italian summer is to store up musical memories which will stay with them for ever.”

During breaks in their performing schedule, the students visited the home of opera composer Puccini at Torre Del Lago, as well as Pisa and San Gimingnano.

During the visit to Puccini’s house, Mr Pallant said it made quite an impression among the students that the composer is buried there alongside his entire family. He said it is always memorable to see where famous music is composed.

As around half of the choir have now left the school to go on to further study at university or on a gap year, this trip was a farewell performance.