Tuesday, April 14, 2015

12th April 2015

An amazing final day for the choir on the island. We began with the now familiar morning routine, apart from the walk – the first time this week it has rained. We then had a brief practice at St. Thomas’ prior to the Eucharist. The boys sang splendidly and conducted themselves in a way that many other, much older, groups would not. After the service we had a group photo and we thanked the vicar for letting us use the facilities there all week long. We returned to the hotel to a super Roast Beef dinner followed by Mandarin Trifle.      

After lunch we walked down to the tram station and took it to Laxey. Some of the braver (or more stupid, maybe) ones among us decided to sit outside, in the cold – very few made it the whole way! The minibuses then picked us up to take us to Ramsey. Again this year the people of St. Paul’s put on an extraordinary tea for us – when you think that the cakes have finished coming and there are none left on the whole island, another tray comes out. We then practiced on a full stomach, or overfull in some cases (don’t worry, no one was sick). The final service was super, a remarkable end to a remarkable week. Both of us Head Choristers had an amazing final IOM tour and it will stick with us for the rest of our lives. A massive thank you to all the staff who work so hard to make this trip possible and to the boys, as well, for giving us such a wonderful experience.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

11th April 2015

Today was quite an eventful one! We woke up early in the morning to enjoy a nice breakfast, as always! Then there was a quick room check and drive to St. Thomas’ Church for the morning practice. The first timers are learning more and more pieces every day and their improvement is extraordinary. 

After the delicious chicken burgers at lunch, it came to the most exciting part of the day, the Venture Centre for the senior boys. Lots of climbing, crawling, balancing, and of course falling, on the assault course, with a tense competition of archery, everyone (well… most) getting near the bull’s eye, followed by air rifle shooting, with Ben Nuttall and Patrick Hurley getting the highest points! Don’t mess with them when it comes to shooting!

As the senior boys were screaming down the zip line the junior boys went on the pedal boats on the lake. Despite the risk of falling in they still went ahead and pedaled like the clappers around the lake. Nothing fishy went on from what I know and heard about it!
After a good afternoon had been had by all, we drove back for dinner which was delicious: a choice of Battered Cod, Chicken Lasagne or Vegetarian Risotto. The cod was amazing, but it better have not been from that lake!
Then we sang and took part in evensong at St Thomas’. It was a brilliant service with a fantastic solo from Finlay Walsh, singing ‘O God You Search Me and You Know Me’ – I am sure he is happy with his exceptional performance.
Then it came time for bed – another day gone, but another day of fun in front of us!

Matthew Brown

Saturday, April 11, 2015

10th April 2015

Today started with the standard morning routine; we were yet again graced by some wonderful weather, however sadly the weather did cloud over later on. In the morning we were driven to St. Mary’s in Castletown (the old capital) for the morning practice. After that we returned to the delightful Hydro Hotel for a lunch of Chilli Con Carne.

In the afternoon we went to Peel beach via Pickwicks. The athletic ones amongst us played volleyball and football, whereas the others fought the tide and ate ice-creams. We didn’t have an afternoon practice and so had an extended time at the beach (yay!). We returned to Douglas for dinner which consisted of Tomato Soup, Cottage Pie or Breaded Plaice and homemade Apple Pie.
After returning to St. Mary’s we were pleasantly greeted by a packed church (it isn’t at all big, mind you) and the service was executed perfectly, with Finlay Walsh taking the final solo. The wonderful parishioners put on refreshments and mingled with the choristers, eager to ask questions. The boys answered with passion! 

Yet another wonderful day, from the boys at least (not so much the staff).

Thursday, April 9, 2015

9th April 2015

Today started out, yet again, with a walk along the prom' for the early risers, followed by a hearty breakfast and then the bank. We had a practice in St Thomas’ and a quick break to visit Pickwicks and then lunch, either salad or chicken curry. After lunch we all went to Port Erin beach and played football, ate ice-creams and had fun. After the beach trip we went to practise in Kirk Braddan church and make preparations for the evening’s service.

We made our way back to the wonderful Hydro hotel for dinner, which again had a fantastic selection including prawn cocktail, steak and lemon meringue pie. The boys made themselves presentable for the evening service and then departed for the church. When we reached Kirk Braddan we promptly got robed and into line (without too much hassle, J.C. is always a problem). The service went off without a hitch (Fr. Shaun delving deep into philosophy by asking the question “How do we know we exist?” – I have to admit it stumped me - and returned happily to the hotel for drinks, biscuits and a card game or two.

Ben Nuttall 

8th April 2015

Today started with a brisk walk along the promenade for the early risers followed by a fantastic breakfast in the dining room. We then went to practice at St. Thomas’ Church, it was very successful as we learnt and perfected quite a few pieces. After that some of the boys went into town and the rest went back to the Hotel, to begin writing home, or played football on the beach. This was followed by a super lunch of either the ever-present salad or a burger. In the afternoon the energetic ones walked down a glen, the rest of us went to the NSC to go swimming and down the slides.

After this we went to practice in St Matthew’s Church for the service. The practice went without a hitch, other than Mr Catterall executing a floral display with his folder. We had an amazing tea which included ham and pea soup, chicken and fish pie. The choristers appeared well-dressed (for the most part) at the church, ready for the service to commence, but some of the boys were not expecting incense during the Magnificat! 
We received many compliments for our singing and also for our general conduct in church.

Ben Nuttall