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DCS UK TOUR 2023: DAILY UPDATES

The Delaware Choral Scholars embarked on a tour of England and Wales during the summer of 2023. Read the day-to-day redux of the tour here, captured in real-time during the trip!

Click the tabs on the side to read about a different day!

The choir’s last day in the UK was certainly bittersweet! Much was accomplished, and the singers are leaving the trip feeling satisfied and musically fulfilled!

The day began with a recording session in historic St. Leonard’s Church. The choir recorded many of the greatest hits from the trip, which will hopefully be available to watch soon!

After a break to pack and refresh, the choir reconvened at St. Leonard’s for a stunning evening concert for JAM on the Marsh. The concert featured the premiere of a new work by Christopher Churcher, a performance of Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, and a stunning rendition of Morten Lauridsen’s Nocturnes.

The choir is currently waiting at London Heathrow Airport to return home to the US. We have had such a stunning trip, and are so grateful to you for following along! Check back next year to follow along with our next trip!

The choir had their last major rehearsal of the trip today, where they worked on their JAM on the Marsh repertoire including a new work by composer Christopher Chrucher.

After a productive rehearsal, the choir worked with conductor Nicholas Cleobury on Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, which they will sing in concert tomorrow evening.

The choir had an extremely memorable day today, where they got to sing in one of the most historically rich churches in the world–Canterbury Cathedral.

The singers got to partake in a tour of the cathedral before getting in place to sing for a noon concert. The choir sang many selections, including Bruckner’s Os Justi and Paul Mealor’s Stabat Mater Mvt. 1.

After a stunning concert, the singers got to explore the town of Canterbury and had an evening at leisure.

Today was a fun and comparatively low-intensity day for the singers!

After a much-needed morning off, the choir had a brief rehearsal in the lovely and historic St. Leonard’s Church for some of their JAM on the Marsh repertoire.

After a productive time singing, the choir walked over to the Hythe train station where they took an adorable tiny train to the town of Dymchurch where they spent some time enjoying the sea air and eating fish and chips!

The choir greatly enjoyed some much-needed rest and social time after a very intense competition week!

A brave cross-section of singers from the choir boarded an overnight bus last night to travel from Llangollen to Hythe to sing a service featuring William Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices in the morning.

Practicing for the service in the church

This service was given at the gorgeous St. Leonard’s Church in Hythe, Kent, and the singers enjoyed singing in this period-appropriate space.

Later in the day, the rest of the choir arrived in Hythe by bus. They are enjoying a day of respite after the emotional whirlwind of yesterday!

The choir competing onstage during the Mixed Choir category

Competition day was an intense, emotional, and deeply rewarding experience for the Delaware Choral Scholars. Focus and commitment were at an all-time high, and the choir is currently in the process of decompressing! (A/N: I’m a singer in the choir myself, and definitely need a few days to process everything!)

The day began with some gentle vocal warm-ups on the side of the road in Chester as the choir awaited the arrival of the bus to take them into Llangollen.

After a short bus ride, the choir was on the ground in Llangollen and warming up to compete in their first set- Mixed Choir.

The choir was extremely invigorated after their Mixed Choir category performance, and placed second, coming in just two points before the first-place choir out of 7 ensembles.

Against Jealousy by Irving Fine – Mixed Choir Category

Soon after their adjudication for round 1, the choir returned to the stage for the “Open Choir” category, which saw choirs from a wide diversity of different genres and backgrounds. The Delaware Choral Scholars entered with a Spiritual/Gospel set and was co-directed by Arreon Harley-Emerson.

Even Me by Michael Reid – Open Choir Category

After the final set, the choir had to wait for a while to find out the results. But, in the meantime, they got to hear many fabulous choirs from all over the world!

Finally, the results were announced. It was a neck-and-neck race with extremely talented choirs, but the Delaware Choral Scholars placed first in the largest “Open Choir” category with a score of 90 points!

See the moment the choir won here!!

As a part of winning their section, the choir advanced to the final round to compete in the Choir of the World Championship.

They left it all on the stage, and although they did not return with the title, it could not have been more magical!

Video shoot location!

Today was the last day before the choir performs in the Llangollen Choir of the World competition, and it was a buy and fun one!

The day began with a concert at the charming St. Collen’s Church in Llangollen, where the choir performed their competition rep and other hits.

Going into St. Collen’s Church

Right after the concert at the church, the singers walked down to the River Dee and stood among the rocks to shoot a video for Marques Garrett’s “Soon I Will Be Done.”

After the video shoot, the choir ran to the bus to get back to Chester for a lovely concert in Chester Cathedral. Now the choir is resting and enjoying some time off before a busy and intense competition day. Wish us luck!!!!!

The Delaware Choral Scholars March in the Llangollen Parade of Nations

Today was a VERY busy day for the Scholars as they finally arrived in Llangollen, Wales, marched in the festival Parade of Nations, and Sang a stunning pop-up performance in Coventry Cathedral after a fascinating tour.

Singing inside Coventry
Singing in the ruins of Coventry
Singing Cedric Dent’s “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” in the ruins of the old Cathedral.

After their time in Coventry, the Scholars finally arrived in Llangollen!

The Parade of Nations in Llangollen was a blast to participate in and the choir had an awesome time!

Today was a very productive day for the choir with at least 7 hours of intensive rehearsal in preparation for the next few busy days on tour!

Rehearsal at St. Mary’s
Singing at the Swan

After lots of hard work during the day, the evening concluded with a lovely sunset concert by candlelight at the charming St. Mary’s church in the village. The choir sang all of their competition music and more!

Everyone is sad to depart Streatley tomorrow, but excited to explore new places! The Parade of Nations is the highlight in Llangollen tomorrow, so stay tuned to see!

Rehearsal room in Streatley
The choir working hard!

The choir worked hard today! The all-day rehearsal in Streatley-On-Thames was productive, and the singers are now enjoying a little bit of recovery time off before they return for another all-day rehearsal tomorrow.

The choir will perform an evening concert at St. Mary’s Church in Streatley tomorrow at 19h30. Check back tomorrow for some concert videos! In the meantime, enjoy these videos of Paul Mealor’s Suo Gân and Sabelo Mthembu’s Alleluia Azania from rehearsal today!

Paul Mealor’s Suo Gân: July 4 Rehearsal
Sabelo Mthembu’s Alleluia Azania: July 4 Rehearsal

A bus of singers!
Jet lag rehearsal

Today was arrival day! The singers flew into LHR and touched down around 9:30 in the morning, and were rushed straight to Streatley-On-Thames for a quick lunch and a boots-on-the-ground “jetlag rehearsal” in the lovely St. Mary’s Church.

Pdh conducts the choir of his world!
Productive break

The choir is recovering from their flight, but they are so excited to get going with the brunt of the rehearsal process. Intensive rehearsals begin tomorrow at The Swan Hotel in Streatley!

This page is where we will be posting daily updates about our rehearsal process and tour. Please check back daily to see where we’re going and where we’ve been!