July 16, 2011

Day 8 - Last Day in York :-(

Today feels like the end of many things....Harry Potter.....our trip to York....a bittersweet day :-)  We started out with more laundry and then went to a picture print shop and bought two big amazing pictures of York Minster Cathedral as souvenirs to hang at home.  I actually found one similar to it online, but ours is way better:

The other is of the Minster in a blizzard.  These will look great on our wall!  After that, we had lunch at a Sichuan Chinese restaurant that was surprisingly good!  Annnnd after that - of course - to the York Picturehouse for the showing of the last Harry Potter movie.  So good...so sad...and we pretty much walked out of the theater, turned the corner and walked by what might as well be Hogwarts Castle.  What a great place to watch the movie!

Hogwarts?  A castle around the corner?  Who knows, I've lost track!
This evening was the final major concert of the festival - The Sixteen.  I've have been a HUGE fan for a couple of years now and hearing them in a place like York Minster was just surreal.  Their entire program was all music from the 16th century composer, Tomas Luis de Victoria, one of the more well known early composers. 

The Sixteen in York Minster - Sorry for the awful picture
From a sound standpoint, The Sixteen were better suited for the space than the first concert, the Gabrieli Ensemble.  I think that had to do with the fact that 1) The Sixteen have about 6 fewer singers, 2) the music had more contrast to it and 3) they did much more dynamic shaping of the music than Gabrieli.  You could hear without a doubt the "singing of the line" and shaping the phrases so that there was a rise and fall to them.  It was incredible.  At the intermission, I happened to see Harry Christophers (the conductor - the guy's a really big deal) and decided to talk to him!  And I did!!  I told him about Fund for Teachers and the grant and how much we were enjoying the concert and that we would take everything we are hearing and learning back to our students.  He thanked me and was very impressed with the grant.  He told me, "You're hearing us in possibly the greatest choral performing space in England - it's fantastic to sing here."  I agreed :-)

So does this make me famous now?  I think it does. (Allison's Note:  No.)

After the concert, we went to another medieval hall for a dinner:
People kept telling us we were keeping the group young.

We kind of thought this would be a large event and everyone would come over from the concert, but there were only about 30 people there.  Most of them were "Friends" of the festival (yearly supporters) and just a few others who had bought tickets to the dinner (us).  It was basically an ask for more money to support the festival - a little awkward - but it was fun to talk to some of the people we were sitting by.  They were all excited about the grant and INCREDIBLY excited by the fact the we "reduced the average age of the room by about half" :-)  

We unfortunately leave York tomorrow...when exactly is the next time we came come back to this place???  Christmas husband, Christmas.  York Christmas Music Festival.

Off to Oxford to show Andrew around and to see the Bate Early Musical Instrument collection.  Everyone at our dinner last night was very excited that we were getting to see the collection.

Bye York!

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