King Edward’s Witley’s Chapel Choir is used to hitting high notes, however during a recent visit to Venice their singing placed them on a completely different scale.
During a cultural tour of Venice in March the choir had a rare opportunity to sing in some of the City’s most iconic buildings, including a concert in the historic Church of Saint Rocco (attached to the Scuola di San Rocco) and also singing at Sunday High Mass in the world-renowned Basilica di San Marco cathedral.
Performing from one of the famous galleries at the Basilica, for a congregation made up of locals, tourists and parents who had made the journey from the UK, the choir received a round of applause at the end of Mass. Their concert at Saint Rocco the evening before was an equal success with a varied programme including pieces by a variety of composers including Allegri, Bach, Elgar, Handel, Lotti, Lloyd Webber, Puccini, Purcell and Rutter.
Stasio Sliwka, director of music at King Edward’s Witley said, “For a choir there’s nothing more inspiring for young people than performing in breathtaking surroundings with exceptional acoustics. The tour was a huge success and the choir enjoyed a once in a lifetime opportunity creating memories that will last for many years to come.”
During the four-day tour the group packed in as much sight seeing as possible including visits to Venice’s famous opera house La Fenice; historic churches; the celebrated Doges’ Palace; numerous art galleries (to see the works of Venice’s grand masters) as well as sampling Venetian food in some of the many restaurants on the islands.
Mr Sliwka said this was the choir’s first tour abroad for many years. In the future the School is planning to take a tour every two years.