On a warm summer’s day earlier this month, in what has now become an annual tradition for Bath Abbey’s youngest choir, the Melody Makers set off up the M5 for their final performance of the season. This year it was the turn of Worcester Cathedral to host the choir.
On arrival, and before all the seriousness of singing could be undertaken, the choir was given a short tour of the Cathedral. It’s always beneficial to sneak some eduction into these trips, and yet whist touring the cloisters many of the children were heard to mutter how much it reminded them of Harry Potter, to which they were told Harry Potter was in fact filmed in Gloucester Cathedral, and that visit was two years ago. Nevertheless – and young wizards aside – they enjoyed their tour before setting up in the nave for a rehearsal and concert.
The lunchtime concert, which as usual for these trips was an informal affair, nonetheless attracted a decent-sized audience who were treated to mixed repertoire including Litany to the Holy Spirit, I Will Sing with the Spirits, Summer, Three Cold Blackbirds, and the haunting Little Girl of Rain. Once again the songs were performed with the Melody Makers usual mix of fun, enthusiasm and professionalism.
Prior to the group singing their final upbeat song of A la Cart by Judith Waston, it was time to say goodbye to those Melody Makers who have reached the end of Year Six and must therefore leave the choir. This year was particularly poignant because a record eight choristers are leaving, but even more so because a number of these children represent the very last of the founder members. It is good to know, however, that three of these Melody Makers have gone on the join the Girls’ Choir.
A fact-finding trail around the cathedral was followed by a brief visit to the shop, where the obligatory collection of souvenirs ranging from note pads, to snap-bands, to cannon-shaped pencil sharpeners were eagerly snapped up by the choir. (If the Bath Abbey souvenir shop ever requires an influx of funds, it might not be such a bad idea to let the Melody Makers loose in there!)
The choir then boarded the coach and headed to Gloucester Cathedral for Evensong. This service marked the end to a lovely day out and indeed a wonderful year for the Melody Makers; a year where the children have once again been involved in the world premiere performance of a specially commissioned piece and have also appeared live on BBC One.
Shean and the Melody Makers would like to thank all at Worcester Cathedral for welcoming the Melody Makers, and especially, Justin Miller, Worcester’s assistant sub organist who stepped in the very last moment to accompany the choir when the original pianist unfortunately fell ill.
It is just left to say a huge, huge thank you to Shean and the Melody Minders for the amazing work they do during the year to bring so many wonderful experiences to this wonderful little choir.