On Day 4 we were pleased to see that the sun was back, thank goodness. One day of rain was easily enough! We all had a little lie in and some down time in preparation for a long day. We took the boat to Murano, past the cemetery island, where the boys were intrigued to learn that burials were restricted to this one island, in order to preserve Venice island..
We very much enjoyed some traditional ice cream. This was a real treat and pick-me-up before heading to the Museo Vetrario (Glass Museum) where the boys were incredibly well-behaved and enjoyed the wonderful glass sculptures. We met a German couple who were very excited to recognise us from the concert in St George’s - we are officially famous!
If there is one thing we have learnt about these boys, it is that they LOVE to shop! They bought some wonderful Murano glass gifts for their parents and siblings, as well as souvenirs for themselves. The teachers were presented with a lovely glass orchestra by some of the boys and another one of the choristers gave Scott another delightful gift. How fortunate we are! We travelled back to Venice for our last ‘Brek’ experience. Brek was a self-service restaurant with food freshly prepared in front of our eyes. The boys really enjoyed the freedom of choosing their own three-course menu.
We then arrived at what must be the most beautiful spot in Venice. The Campo Santa Maria dei Miracoli was bathed in afternoon sun, highlighting the most stunning church on the canal side. On entering the church we were blown away by the entirely marble interior and the grand staircase leading up to the altar. We were informed that many people choose to be married there - it is easy to see why. As the sun set, it created an ominous glow in the church; the ideal setting for this last rendition of our concert programme, The Art of Sacred Music. The choir stood at the top of the altar steps; the voices and organ resounded majestically in the packed church.
The Senior Choristers had this to say about their concert experiences:
“As we went through the week the experience became more exhilarating as the churches grew in size. I was a bit nervous but afterwards I got a rush of adrenaline and I felt so invigorated!” WS
“I was nervous the whole way through the concerts. My legs were about to give way, but after the last one I was so happy with what we had achieved!” TM
“I found it nerve-racking having to adjust to the different churches and organs, and also to perform in duets and trios in front of large crowds. But as we went from church to church it seemed to get easier.” DB
The tour came to an end today with our last Venetian pizza and special prize giving. The boys have worked so hard and we wanted to celebrate their achievements as a team before heading back to London for some well-earned recovery. Every chorister received a souvenir poster and concert programme, as well as some individual prizes for Most Enthusiastic Chorister, Chorister with the Best Manners and the Haribo Chorister of the Week. We were also thrilled to make two more appointments to the Senior Chorister Team. A fitting end to a most wonderful week of music, laughter and friendship.
I would like to thank my colleagues, Ruth Henson, Claire Jaggers and Richard Bates for the integral part they played. We simply could not have done it without them. I would also like to thank the boys' parents for supporting Platinum Boys’ Choir on this, our first European tour. Here's to the next one!