This October, Holy Trinity School embarked on a European choir tour, visiting and performing in Holland, Germany and Belgium. With a jam-packed itinerary including performances in De Efteling Themepark, the Mondriaan Chapel in Maastricht and the stunning St Michael’s Church in Aachen, the choir performed in a number of special venues during their 5-day tour – they even gave an impromptu performance in the Valkenburg Caves (who could resist trying out those acoustics?!). Tour Courier, Alan Jones, accompanied the choir on their tour and gave us the tour low down…
En route to Valkenburg
27 students and 3 staff members and I set off from Kidderminster for Valkenburg. We arrived at our hotel after a long journey and enjoyed a nice evening meal together before settling down for a good night’s rest ready for the magic of De Efteling Themepark the following day.
A magical day at De Efteling
Today we made an early start for De Efteling Themepark. This fantasy-themed park has something for everyone, with plenty of thrilling rides for the young dare-devils in the group, as well as some tamer attractions for those who don’t like the scary rides! The group liked it so much, we stayed an hour longer than planned. The choir gave an afternoon performance at the theme park and enjoyed a warm reception from the theme park goers who gathered to listen to their beautiful singing – this magical setting did not disappoint and we all enjoyed the De Efteling ambiance!
Vocal warm-ups in the Valkenburg Caves
This morning we explored the very attractive and popular tourist town of Valkenburg. Firstly, we visited the “Fluweelengrot” or “Velvet Caves” and our very lively guide gave us a great tour of the caves – we all admired the drawings and carvings that adorned the cave walls, created by local artists. The choir couldn’t resist the temptation to try out the acoustics in the underground church; the sound was amazing. Afterwards, there was time for a little souvenir shopping and a lunch stop.
In the afternoon, we headed for Maastricht where the choir gave a concert at the Mondriaan Care Home Chapel. The acoustics in the chapel were fantastic and the choir sang beautifully.
An awe-inspiring performance in Aachen
This morning we made the short journey over the border to Aachen in Germany. The choir sang four songs as part of the regular mass at St Michael’s Church and four more songs at the end of the service. The acoustics in the church are wonderful and the choir performed superbly. At the end of the service, the priest called for applause for the choir at which point a warm and enthusiastic applause followed. Almost everyone stayed on to hear the extra songs after the service and some of the audience members were even moved to tears. It was a great way to end the musical part of the tour.
There was time to spend an hour in Aachen city centre before going on to the “drielandenpunt” the point where the borders of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands meet. Some members of the group made their way up teh viewing tower for spectacular views of the three countires.
The group rounded off the day at the Mosaqua swimming pool at Gulpen (Netherlands) – a great opportunity for them to splash about and blow off some steam!
Today we made the journey back to England via Belgium and France. What a fantastic tour with the opportunity to visit a number of beautiful cities and pretty towns – the five days were full of performance highlights, enjoyable excursions and a whole lot of fun!
For more information on a Four Countries tour, visit our get in touch with our team today!!