Our day started off with a guided tour of Salisbury Cathedral, which is famous for being the home of one of the surviving copies of the original Magna Carta. It was also the inspiration for Ken Follet’s The Pillars of the Earth novel, which was later turned into a TV series, about the building of a great cathedral.
We learnt that when new boy choristers are initiated, they are sat on the bumping stone, and their head gently bumped against it several time. For girl choristers, they are knelt in front of the statue of Mary and a bible bumped against their head. Salisbury was the first cathedral in Britain to allow female choristers, which has paved the way for others to follow suit.
After lunch it was back on the bus for the trip to Wells, our evensong venue for the day. Wells is a picturesque little town, and we had a little bit of free time to take in the sights prior to rehearsal. The music centre is a recent addition to the Cathedral, and we really enjoyed rehearsing in the purpose built rooms, particularly for their under floor heating!
Virgirs Simon and Kieran then took us through the procedures unique to Wells, before we got to sing in the Quire itself. They were particularly friendly and full of good humour, and made Wells one of our favourite places to sing so far.
As it was the day before Epiphany, we sand Dove’s The three Kings for the first time on tour, and the service setting was the Brewer in D. After evensong, it was back to our hotel in Salisbury for a last night there before heading to Oxford.