Departing from titanic buildings and dramatic geology formed by the giants of Northern Ireland, we travelled south where we were greeted by the charming, historical city of Dublin. Our first call was Trinity College, where we were given a tour of their library. Few expected the wonder and awe that each of us felt upon entering that room. Books, hundreds of years old, were stacked shelf upon shelf in a room extending into the depths of history. With ancient manuscripts and autographs on display, all members of the choir found something to whet their appetite. Above all this history loomed a great arched ceiling of which perhaps the greatest feature was its polished wooden finish, sheltering the shelves below it.
The evening concert was performed in the college’s ornately decorated common room, following a formal meal similar in grace and furnishings to the colleges of Cambridge. The choir of Trinity College Dublin first performed a short piece to the audience gathered in the common room, followed by Jesus Choir. Both were received gratefully by family of the choir and fellows of the university. We returned to our hotel, a short walk from Trinity College, in the pouring rain but such conditions did not assuage members of the choir from seeking an exciting night out in a pub near the hotel, who found a many-levelled bar, reminiscent of a tree-house, where the night’s revelries unfolded!
The following morning, silence reigned as the choir slept, healing the wounds received from the previous night…
In the early afternoon we were taken on a tour around the centre of Dublin by Eddie McParland, member of Jesus College Cambridge and Fellow at Trinity College Dublin. The entire history of the city’s current formation unravelled as we walked around. We were treated to a great story of corruption and greed which culminated with a visit to the Guildhall and Castle of Dublin on the river Liffey.
Our second concert, a series of songs and readings hosted by the Teaching Centre in Dublin, was received with rapturous applause from our audience. Again, we were very grateful to Eddie McParland for reading and introducing the concert. His incredible knowledge of the city and its buildings and history had guided us during our time in Dublin and we left the following morning with a deeper understanding of the city.