Last month, Rayburn team member, Jenny, packed her bags, grabbed her passport and jetted off to Barcelona to accompany singers from Bracknell Choral Society on their Costa Brava singing adventure!
Here’s Jenny’s highlights from the trip:
It was an early start for Bracknell Choral Society and I at Heathrow Airport but excitement was in the air. After a smooth check in and flight, we found ourselves in Barcelona and loading onto coaches for our transfer to our accommodation. After checking in the 80 group members, we spent the evening getting to know one another over some lovely food and local wine.
After a delicious breakfast that consisted of hot and cold, sweet and savoury buffet options, we set off on our first excursion of the tour – the Sagrada Familia. The guided tour was excellent and both the group and I were amazed by the architecture of both the exterior and interior of the building. It was now time to perform and after changing into their blacks, it was excellent to see a large audience had gathered to see the performance. For some, performing at the Sagrada Familia was the highlight of their trip and I was privileged to be in the audience.
After a period of free time to refresh (be it with a sandwich and soft drink or tapas and a local cerveza), we met our representative who showed us into the Cathedral ready for the next performance. Here we were also able to experience the joys of the organist, a talented honorary member of the team and the vocals of the conductor, a pleasure to listen to.
Day 3 began with a boat tour from the picturesque seaside town of Tossa de Mar. The glass bottom viewing point allowed us to observe the sea life below and the group thoroughly enjoyed the tour.
After ambling around the streets of Tossa de Mar, some making their way up to the Castle, it was back onto the coach and onwardsto the city of Figueres and an impromptu visit to the Dalí Musuem. This was followed by an early dinner and then it was time for the choir’s rehearsal at the Esgesia Sant Pere. The acoustics here were outstanding and both the vocals and the accompaniment wowed the listeners.
Today was a performance free day and we were spending the day in Barcelona – first up was a trip to the Picasso Museum followed by a visit to Poble Espanyol. This was home to my favourite excursion of the whole trip, the Montjuïc Cable Car. The views from the car were breath-taking and we were also lucky enough to have free entry in to the castle at the top of the mountain which provided even more spectacular sights.
The evening was spent relaxing with fine food and wine – perfection.
The group’s final performance was at Montserrat or, literally, the ‘grated mountain’. The journey to the venue presented the group with some perfect photo opportunities and it wasn’t long before everyone met in front of the Monastery in their uniform ready to perform. To perform at such a prestigious and formal concert venue, in front of a large audience, was a special moment for many members of the choir and I really enjoyed their performance.
Some siesta time followed the performance, before the evening meal. Almost all of the group attended and enjoyed a three course meal where we wined and dined long into the evening – a perfect last evening on tour.
This was the final day in the Costa Brava and the group enjoyed free time until the departure home. Our flight was made better by the lovely air crew that made a special mention to the group over the tannoy and suggested a sing song of Spice Girls!
This was a wonderful group to courier and I enjoyed getting to know those that I spoke to and to see the lovely relationship they have as a music group – thank you very much Bracknell Choral Society!