A unique College,

with a unique

Choir, supported

by an unrivalled

thriving musical


Nicholas Collon, conductor, former Organ Scholar (2001-04)


Switzerland September 2017 Tour Blog Day 3

Date: Saturday 30 September 2017 4.00pm


The last leg of the tour had us on the road once more to “sunny” Bellinzona, the capital of Switzerland's Ticino canton.  The city is famous for its three medieval castles, Castelgrande, Sasso Corbaro, and Montebello, and it was at the foot of the latter that we took our own accommodation for the night.


The hostel was only marginally less grand than its princely namesake, and the monstrous visions that Toby Hession, in his ebullient optimism, had fed us of sharing double-length single beds toe-to-toe, proved nonsense.  Poor Kit Holliday, however, was somewhat baffled by the prospect of sorting his own linen, and spent the first hour scouring the place for his bedder.


Having arrived in the south a little later than expected, we found ourselves pressed for time to get to our venue for rehearsal (and crucially to the nearby convenience store for afterwards).  But the operation was carried out with the utmost precision of a slightly battered swiss-watch, and we arrived with minutes to spare before closing.  Spilling out from the bus, a ravenous horde of flailing folders and suit-carriers in full swing descended on the local Co-Op as the choir scrambled for their post-concert provisions.


The night's program saw our organists snatched away from the tender clutches of their pipes, and repurposed - as the choir tackled an all a capella set list of well-loved college favourites, that more than one member had never even seen before.  Special credit goes to choir freshers, Ben “hotpants” Porteous and Nick “why does he keep doing that thing with his hand?” Hendy for their stoicism and strong sight-reading in the face of sheer terror.


Our venue, the sixteenth century Chiesa dei Santi Rocco e Sebastiano, provided a stunning, luscious acoustic, intimate atmosphere, and ample grahamographic (I think this word is gaining enough legitimacy to be used in bananagrams) potential - all of which combined to great popular success, and proved a fitting send-off to this year’s leavers.  Having cried out half their body weight, and feeling all the better for it, the happy choir headed homewards for the last time in search of food and rehydration.


Jonathan Nicolaides (Can Tenor 3)