DGS Organ Scholars trip to Chapel Royal and Tower of London

On Sunday 3rd December, three organ scholars Colm Xiao, Ruby Moss, and Joe Liscoe from Dundalk Grammar School, accompanied by their organ tutor Ms Donna Magee, travelled to London to visit the Chapels Royal in the Tower of London and Saint Paul’s Cathedral. The trip was organised by Ms Magee in conjunction with one of her past organ teachers, Mr Colm Carey (Master of Music of the Chapels Royal, HM Tower of London).

Our students were privileged to attend a private rehearsal of the choir and observe Mr Carey shape the music and they absolutely enjoyed and appreciated the beautiful choral and organ music in the Advent Carol service which followed. Our organists were treated to a personal tour of the chapel after the service including the burial place of Queens Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard and were given access to some areas which are not open to the public.

A highlight of the trip was when Colm, Ruby, and Joe each played the organ in the Chapel. They were delighted to be given the opportunity to perform on the impressive instrument in such a special venue which is steeped in history. The students’ guest passes allowed them to complete their visit with a walk around other areas of the Tower such as the Crown Jewels and the Torture at the Tower exhibitions.

Following the intimate morning carol service, our organists made their way to Saint Paul’s Cathedral for an Evensong service. This was also a special experience for the organ students as they were given permission to sit in the quire along with the clergy and choir where they could closely observe the conductor and stunning cathedral choir, which is regarded as one of the finest in the UK. The playing of the organist on the world-famous instrument resonated around the spectacular building.

The organ students learnt a great deal from their trip and are excited and motivated to continue their organ learning journeys. 6th Yr student, Colm said that ‘‘hearing the St Paul’s organ being played while sitting in the middle of the two organ cases was quite amazing.” The most exciting part of the trip for Joe Liscoe was “playing Lang’s ‘Tuba Tune’ on the organ at the Tower of London and experiencing its amazing sound” while fellow TY student, Ruby Moss said that the trip was “unforgettable and very inspiring.”

This was a magnificent and unique experience for our students and one which they will remember for a long time.

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