Clare’s musical life

is so rich and varied

Nicholas Rimmer, pianist, former Organ Scholar (2000-03)


December Christmas Tour 2016

Date: Tuesday 20 December 2016 11.00am


Another day, another concert, another round of Grahamography™. Controversially, our first concert in the Netherlands featured some radical changes to the now legendary routine. Nick “I didn’t like the postlude anyway” Morris and Tom “Allain” Ashton valiantly rose to the challenge of assimilating previously unseen moves into their stellar performances, including the ground-breaking ‘step forward’ and the arguably more revolutionary ‘step backward’. Earlier in the day, Harriet “onboard entertainment system” Caisley had greatly contributed to the choir’s holistic education with a comprehensive video review of the many fashionable and pragmatic advantages of woven turtleneck jumpers in the form of a compulsory group viewing of Love Actually.

In between our arrival in the port town of Vlissingen and afternoon rehearsal in the beautiful Sint Jacobskerke, the newly formed Clare College Contemporary Dance Society sought out local cafés and restaurants that were geopen and willing to serve some gefood. Luckily, the only geopen café in town was quickly found, and sandwiches, coffees, and hot chocolates (both with and without slagroom) ordered in abundance. In a desperate attempt to win back the heart of Holly “Holt” Matimong, Alex “falsetto of an angel” Porteous could later be seen demonstrating his agility and skillz in so-called ‘parkour’ around the harbour.

Following an intense game of Bums played in the best bumming arena this side of Rotterdam, dinner was served in a futuristic, harbour-side gerestaurant complete with underground tennis courts, gravity-defying Christmas trees, and original 17th-Century canons. To honour the first of the tour’s concerts in The Netherlands, Graham convinced the choir to sing entirely in Dutch for the evening.* If the choir thought this challenging, it was nothing compared to the two-hour workout the organists were subjected to; an absence of pistons meant the organ was more a musical cross trainer than a playable instrument, and left Nick “experiencing technical difficulties” Morris and Ellie “harmony and/or counterpoint” Carter feeling as if they’d run a marathon. After a successful concert, the choir transferred to the Fletcher Zuiderduin Beachhotel, where the third-years were welcomed back to the delights of La Trappe beer. We spent the evening having fun the way only choral scholars can: guessing hymn titles in a game of charades. A special mention must be made of Harry “mindreader” Castle, whose powers of deduction and lightening-fast reactions remain unparalleled.

*some parts of this account may have been adapted or fictionalised.


In what can only be described as the foremost fashion blunder of the season, Graham “renowned composer of ‘Mater ora filium’” Ross and first-year ASNAC student Joe “TACET” Payne both fell ill of the perils of mustard yellow. Graham was papped sporting his classic golden chinos during a day out in Vlissingen, while Joe was reported to have combined his love of high-quality knitwear and bright colours in a statement jumper that’s already being described as “very yellow”. Stay tuned for the next instalment of Fashion Watch…

The Happy Couple, AKA Holly Holt (Can Sop 1) & Toby Matimong (Can Bass 1)