During half term, members of the Chapel Choir departed for a five-day tour to Barcelona; performing in spectacular cathedrals as well as experiencing Catalan culture.
The first day featured a visit to ‘La Casa Gaudí’, the home that once belonged to one of the greatest modernist architects, Antoni Gaudí; as well as the stunning surrounding of Park Güell, from which you can enjoy an impressive vista of Barcelona.
Later on, we visited the unique, peaceful space of Poble Espanyol, as we strolled around its charming plazas and streets, taking in the beautiful historical architecture. We visited the contemporary art stores, and most importantly, the delicious restaurants. The busy first day ended with a concert in the coastal town of Lloret De Mar to an appreciative audience of locals.
Day two began with a visit to Montserrat, the Benedictine Monk retreat located in the mountains, which offered some of the most spectacular mountain views. The Chapel Choir performed a short recital in the highly ornate Basilica, which is home to the world-famous Montserrat Boys’ Choir. The nave of the basilica was packed with tourists, many of whom had to stand; it was an exciting opportunity to sing for such a large audience. In the evening, we performed a third concert at a church near our hotel, which proved to be popular with the locals – they particularly enjoyed Mr Johnson-Hyde dusting off his schoolboy Spanish to introduce the concert.
Thursday began with a visit to an Aquarium, in which we saw a variety of sea life. Penguins were a clear favourite amongst the choir. The afternoon offered an opportunity to explore the picturesque Las Ramblas boulevard in the city centre, as well as La Boqueria, a large and colourful food market where pupils enjoyed some delicious food.
The choir then headed to their fourth concert at the magnificent Barcelona Cathedral – it was highly enjoyable to sing in such a resonant building. Members of the Barbershop Chorus also enjoyed busking in the striking setting of the Gothic Quarter. We then attended a Flamenco show, one which demonstrated the intensely passionate nature of the traditional Spanish art form.
The final day saw a visit to La Sagrada Familia designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí. Although unfinished, we were still able to witness the dazzling and impressive architecture; we also enjoyed an opportunity to busk to appreciative tourists. Finally, to conclude what had been an incredible trip, we visited the Gothic Quarter for some last-minute shopping and lunch.