Prague 2004

Members of the Chester Music Society Choir made a successful summer tour to Prague in June 2004.

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The visit to Prague by members of the Choir and their supporters proved to be memorable and highly successful. With over 70 members in the party, the logistics were quite a challenge. A programme arranged for the choir enabled them to sing on three occasions, but yet have free time to enjoy the beauty of Prague.

The first concert involved participation in the BN Cernohorsky Music Festival in the small town of Nymburk, where the choir joined other choirs for the evening, which was preceded by a Municipal reception and a communal meal afterwards.

Back in Prague, the next day the choir had the pleasure of giving a lunchtime concert in the historic church of St Nicolas, Old Town Square, to an appreciative audience. To add to the occasion, the choir stood on the steps outside the church and sang one item from their programme before beginning their concert.

Saturday gave the majority of the party a chance to visit the Basilica of St Barbara at Kutna Hora, a two-hour drive from Prague. A visit to the local silver mine was available as well as the local museum that traced the history of silver mining in the area.

The highlight of the evening was a privately chartered River Cruise on the River Vitava, when everyone enjoyed a buffet supper followed by choral contributions from the choir and their travelling supporters.

Completing the tour, the choir was invited to sing items including part of the Schubert Mass at the Sunday morning communion service in St Clement's Anglican Church, Prague. Welcomed by the priest in charge and the congregation, they were delighted to learn that their host Canon Philpott, had been ordained in Chester Cathedral.

Once again the choir was indebted to Graham Jordan Ellis, their conductor, for his musical direction, and Simon Russell who provided the accompaniment, sometimes in difficult circumstances.

Works Performed on the Tour:

Mass in G major - Franz Schubert
Ave Verum Corpus - William Byrd
Panis Angelicus - César Franck
Crucifixus a 8 - Antonio Lotti
Cantique de Jean Racine - Gabriel Fauré
Three Lenten Motets - Antonin Tucapaky
Ave Verum Corpus - W A Mozart
Hosanna to the Son of David - Thoams Weelkes
Jubilate Deo - Giovanni Gabrieli

Conductor: Graham Jordan Ellis
Organist: Simon Russell