A Day Much Needed

Saturday night as people joined in the cabaret fun was hilarious and incredible. Many choir members and conductors sang, including songs from old and new shows, and even some Disney numbers (yes, Let It Go was belted, and in a much higher key than normal). Everyone sounded great as we would clap and join in certain songs for sing-alongs, and had a group number or two as well!! Alexander, one of the conductors participating in the Institute this week accompanied everyone, and did a beautiful job, whether he sight-read a new piece, played another from memory, or anything else he could think of. In addition to providing amazing accompaniment, he also provided food and drink for all to enjoy for the night. The night he put on with everyone was very entertaining and fun as we all awaited our day off on Sunday.

When Sunday came, many of us knew that sleeping in would be good idea. Most of us slept in, while others went sightseeing in London or in Oxford, and spent the day touring all around. Meanwhile, I had other plans!!!

After waking up late, I went to grab a bite with friends, and then we went punting with a group of friends. We also had a guest appearance by our friend Grant, which was really cool as well! We started our punting experience with a struggle as we tried to get out of the starting area, which was also a good bit my fault, but soon enough we were off! Along came our next obstacle however. . . . As Sara was our punter, we were stuck under a very short bridge, and as she tried to climb over the wooden beam under the bridge, the boat decided to continue on its journey. Sara was left to hang on the crossbeam for a good minute and a half, holding herself out of the water the entire time until we could finally get back to her. The pictures of it will come once I can get someone to send it to me, but they are incredible.

Once we could recover Sara, we switched our punters and started really making some progress on our trip, we made it back to the start within the hour, and managed to receive our deposit back! Not too shabby for a rough 15 minute start and for a punter over board!!

Then, we waited to join up with another two groups to finish their punting and made our way to one of the oldest spots in Oxford, The Bear Inn. The pub dates back to 1242, and is hidden away in Oxford, and as I have now tasted, is home to one of the best burgers I have ever eaten. Our large group walked into the city for a couple minutes, and we ventured down a small alley to arrive at the pub. We ordered our Grizzly Burgers, and anxiously awaited the burger we had all heard so much about. Once they arrived, we ate everything, and I do mean everything. The burger was amazing, and definitely lived up to the expectations, to the point where the others and I seriously considered ordering a second. However, we felt it was best to keep moving and see some other parts of the city. We moved around, walking through the city, stopping at a pub to see some sights and take a look, and around 7:15 ( 2:15 back home) we broke off for a little and and planned to regroup soon.

Eventually, we met back up in our common room at St. Stephens and joined in some card games, and then proceeded to head out again and enjoy the night in Oxford. The day off was very relaxing and entertaining, filled with good food, and great laughs. I cannot believe the trip is coming to a close soon, as our days have been so eventful and fun.

Our Monday holds a lot in store as we will have three lectures/sessions along with two rehearsals with the conductors to prepare for our concert, a Compline service, and a guest appearance as well, so it should be an entertaining day!!! I’ll keep you posted!!

About choralmusicinstitute

Presented by Westminster Choir College of Rider University and Oxford University's St. Stephen's House, the one-week institute provides instruction to all levels of conductors.
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