A personal impression by Stephen Brown, Head Chorister

Placing responsibility on young shoulders I’m pleased how lucky I’ve been to move through the senior positions on Cantoris to be Head Boy. I would like to thank the boys for the support they have given me and the men for their encouragement during this period.

My first major outing with the choir as Head Boy was to Utrecht in Holland. On our first day, we performed a concert with a Dutch choir and orchestra which went very well indeed. The orchestra played beautifully and both choirs did brilliantly. The Top Four did well in John Rutter’s The Lord bless you and keep you and the Benedictus from the Missa Brevis by Palestrina. After the concert the Abbey Choir and supporters were taken to dinner by the Dutch choir, which everyone enjoyed.

On the morning of the second day we went to the sand dunes where the adults looked around and the boys played football. During the afternoon, the Choir did a service and, at this point I would like to say ‘well done’ to all the boys who were feeling ill, but still went through with the service. Once again the singing went very well.

With all the singing over, the Choir was shown around the ‘Secret Chapel’ hidden at the rear of the Old Catholic Cathedral where we performed our concerts. The choirmaster and the curator exchanged information about the Secret Chapel and the Abbey during the Reformation.

The last night was very exciting with the pool tournament which unfortunately we were unable to finish because we had to go to bed. When we did eventually get to bed, the fire alarm went off.twice! Well The Hidden Chapel done to all of the boys for coping so well with this disturbance, especially the four young boys.

On behalf of the Choir, I would like to thank Dennis Woodward and Jamie Barratt for filming the music, the Vicar and Mrs Adrienne Mordan for narrating during the concert, the choirmen for looking after the boys (which as everyone knows, is an extremely hard job!). I would also like to thank everyone who contributed to the trip with donations or sponsorship, particularly Test Valley Borough Council and Music in Romsey, the supporters who came to cheer us on and, last but not least, the Girls’ Choir for covering for us whilst we were away.

Finally, I would like to congratulate both choirs, the orchestra and the narrators on a marvellous performance. Well done to Tim for a great organ solo and a special mention for our the four newest choristers – Ben Taylor, Sam Ter-Haar, George Prowse and Neal Reaves – for a good performance on their first Choir trip away from home.