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Abbey choir strike the right note in Belgium
8:30am Friday 12th June 2009 in News
Romsey Abbey Choir visited Belgium to sing two concerts at the end of May.
The first took place in Blankenberge, a seaside town near Zeebrugge, and the other in the heart of Brussels.
Conducted by the abbey’s director of music, Robert Fielding, the choir sang items ranging from motets by Tudor composers, William Byrd and Thomas Mudd, to modern anthems. Much of the music was unaccompanied.
Two pieces that audiences particularly appreciated were by Belgian composers: the St Joseph Mass, by Flor Peeters and César Franck’s much-loved Panis Angelicus.
The choir was surprised, yet delighted, to be joined in Brussels by the vicar of Romsey, the Rev Tim Sledge. An experienced singer, he joined the basses in the concert.
Off-duty, the choir enjoyed a tour of the canals around Bruges and paid a visit to a chocolate factory and a brewery.
In Brussels, adults visited the iconic Atomium monument while the boys enjoyed thrills and spills at a nearby water park.
The boys spent their final morning on the beach at Blankenberge.
Mr Fielding commented: “The choir produced some stunning performances and enjoyed singing in the two wonderful church buildings. We were made very welcome and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. I was very pleased and proud of the way our boys behaved and sang. They were a credit to Romsey Abbey.”