Waking up in the early hours of the morning is difficult for the average person, but for the members of Wallace High School’s Capella the prospect of going to school was an exciting one. The moment we’d been waiting for had finally arrived and excited faces slowly gathered one by one on the bus, for leg one of our adventure to Amsterdam.
In total, our voyage to Amsterdam used a total of 3 buses and 2 boats and the friendly banter provided by the teachers and pupils created a fun and lively atmosphere (even if the cheesy 90’s disco music supplied by our beloved bus driver Aiden made the mood somewhat ‘retro’).
Once arriving in Amsterdam after staying overnight on the boat from England to the hotel,we met Mr Falconer’s dutch godparents who took us immediately on a tour of Amsterdam.We headed to the Jewish Historical Museum and experienced the culture surrounding the Jewish population in the Netherlands during the 1st and 2nd world war. We ended our visit with a short concert in the atrium, the sound echoed all over the museum.
We then took lunch in the Veemarkt, some of us trying the raw herring dipped in raw onions eaten whole and at once. We got back on our coach and proceeded to the Van Gogh Museum. No real opportunity to sing here, but after an enlightening afternoon that made a great ‘impression’ on us, we moved to the centre of Amsterdam, Dam square. As the coach approached Dam square, we got our first view of the Nieuwe Kerk. It was enormous and would be a great experience to perform there the next day.
After dinner around the Dam, and some spontaneous busking, we took a two hour boat trip on the canals, seeing all the sites from the water.
After a tough day of running about Amsterdam, it was finally time to crash in our extremely comfy beds at the Ibis hotel. It was a tiring day, but really good fun.
After an early breakfast in the hotel, it was finally time to perform our first concert in the Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam.
The concert was really well attended, Capella having been invited to perform aspart of the Amsterdam Sacred Music festival.
The concert programme involved movement from the West end, starting our performance behind the audience and then proceeding through them to the front . Works by Capella classics went down brilliantly and we were pleasantly surprised at the end of the concert when we were presented with flowers (even the boys!).
We then travelled by coach for the second concert at ‘Ter Coulsterkerk in Heiloo. The concert raised €900 for the local youth services and was a great success. Our hosts provided us with dutch foods, including chocolate sprinkles for our toast and plenty of well filled rolls. The music went down so well, they’d never heard such a choir before, all unaccompanied.
For Capella it was a moving event as this was the last concert for the Upper sixth. The most notable of the many moments has to be Daniel Henry’s speech, stirring up the hearts and minds of teachers and pupils alike. It was also the last tour with Ms Bill, who, less than a week later, was to become Mrs Bailey. We wish her all the best in her new life in Dublin and hope that she’ll come back to visit often.
Capella’s upcoming events will take place on November 26 th in St Patrick’s Chapel with a candlelit Advent Sequence, Carol concerts in Annahilt, Belfast and Lisburn Cathedral will take place in December. Further information is available on the school website.
Last modified: October 23, 2011