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Classical Notes

VocalEssence in the UK: Day 7 - Ely

Posted at 5:30 PM on January 23, 2009 by John Birge

And I don't mean Ely, Minnesota. Unless they have a cathedral there that looks like this:

ely outside.JPG

But more about that in a moment. Today started on the radio.

bbc cam pb.JPG

Philip Brunelle was invited to the BBC Cambridgeshire, the regional BBC radio station, to promote the concert at King's College Chapel that evening.
He spent a lively ten minutes on "Cambridgeshire Breakfast with Jeremy Sallis". I even got corralled into being interviewed for a minute or two; it seems that morning radio is unavoidable.

At 2pm, I was talking on another morning radio show -- morning in Minnesota time, that is. Had a quick chat with my colleague Steve Staruch back at MPR, and was speaking to him from here:

ely nave.JPG

Ely Cathedral, about 40 minutes drive from Cambridge, is having it's 900th anniversary party this Sunday. That makes Cambridge University a mere tot; it's celebrating it's 800th this year. Meanwhile, VocalEssence continued its 40th anniversary tour with a noon concert in the Lady Chapel at Ely Cathedral. Oh, and who's that chap kneeling, setting up the mic stand on the right?:

ely ve reh.JPG

That's the famous English composer, John Rutter! He offered to come and record the VocalEssence concert, which I hope to be able to share with you upon my return next week.

For the evening, the singers were back to Cambridge for a magnificent evening performance at King's College Chapel. Tomorrow, it's back to London for more radio, and one more performance before heading home to MN on Sunday. It's a joint concert with the BBC Singers at the storied Maida Vale studios, home of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Stay tuned; meanwhile, check out the VocalEssence photo blog to view more pictures, and the tour blog for the singers POV.