The quantity and

quality of Music

at Clare seems

in retrospect almost


Stephen Farr, organist, former Organ Scholar (1984-87)


December Christmas Tour 2016

Date: Thursday 22 December 2016 7.15am


Our day began with a few well-deserved drinks in the bar in the early hours of the morning upon a very late arrival to the hotel. Unfortunately, this meant that two of our writers missed breakfast in order to get their all-imortant 7 hours of sleep - however, Harriet “Smoked Salmon!” Caisley as always turned up faithfully at 8:30am for her only solo of the tour, breakfast for one. At the leisurely hour of 12:15pm, the choristers rolled one by one into the coach, where it was discovered that Kit “Dude where’s my car?” Holliday was blissfully unaware of the location of his music, much to the chagrin of Jess “I Need a Ladder” Kinney, who had picked up his abandoned folder from the church in Amstelveen over 12 hours earlier. Following a swift telling off, music and aloof basses alike boarded the coach intact, and on we went to Apeldoorn.


En route, Jackson “Stroopwaffel” Riley distributed the Dutch sweet treats which had been kindly donated by a generous audience member who also happened to be the sister of Bonna, a firm favourite amongst Clare College staff and one of the choir’s biggest fans. Our first mission in Apeldoorn was of course, lunch - as expected in the Netherlands, a few of us managed to find a perfectly pleasant café full of charming knick-knacks and its own English-speaking piano player called Bert. The others, meanwhile, found another establishment similarly characteristic of the Netherlands… what seemed from the outside an innocently festive spot for a bite to eat turned out to be adorned with poles, podiums and glitteringly disrobed statues – yes, we had lunch in a strip club!


After the meal, heroes of the hour Toby “Traversed Afar” Hession and Catherine “Moor and Mountain” Clark ventured through the Apeldoorn in search of new bumming apparatus, as our faithful ball had unfortunately suffered a puncture. The defendant guilty of such a crime has yet to be found, but thankfully our saviours returned with a luminescent new football and the bumming fun was continued in the depths of the church carpark. 


The rehearsal for our seventh performance of the tour went mostly very well – however, as expected, Joe “Drama Queen” Payne managed to stall proceedings by accidentally flinging all of his music on the floor mid-pirouette, whilst Harry “Fragile as a Flower” Castle was nearly concussed after being clocked in the face by an overexcited French Hen. Dinner, provided lovingly by the church, tasted far better than it looked – the ‘yunyions’ and ‘hash stew’ were particular favourites.


Our concert went largely without a hitch - that is until the very end, when atmospheric stage lighting combined with the ever notorious Grahamography to give Rachel “Tacet Solo” Haworth a laughing fit that briefly chopped down the choir Christmas tree. Nevertheless, the audience demonstrated typical Dutch appreciation and with our third successful concert complete, we headed back to the hotel for a well earned rest.



Fashion Watch: a special mention goes to Joe for his shirt which, according to Alex “Milk” Porteous, could only be described as offensive (meanwhile Ruth “Keogh” Connolly complimented Joe’s taste in style, before later remarking that the item of clothing in question looked like wallpaper), and Tom who managed to perfectly match the brown elbow patches on his bright pink jumper with his trousers. And, as always, Graham’s hat - which somehow accentuates his majestic crown even more than his mighty hairline. 


Jess Kinney (Lay Clerk), Harriet Caisley (Can Alto 2) and Rhea Gupta (Can Alto 3)