The first day at Summer School: good train journey, lovely countryside, disembarked with lots of other students, bus into town, small, windy, hilly, cobbled streets. Lovely young Junior Research Fellow from Oxford Uni, asked what I needed, ferried me around, Learning Advisor also worked hard to see we had what we needed. Everyone so supportive. Shown to room and unpacked. Rather dingy and needed decorating but all the necessaries were there, plus it was en suite which is nice.
Introductory session, divided into tutor groups of about ten people each, but only seven in mine, then shown our rooms, had supper, and then at 7.15 pm into first seminar of the week. The Cathedral bells toll while we sit there working, looking out through the mullioned windows with their diamond shaped panes of glass. Our seminar room and dining room are wonderful, early Georgian, filled with oil paintings of the great and the illustrious.
The Georgian Dining Room:
Below is the Senior Common Room Dining Room where my Seminar group meets for tutorials on Music Theory, Harmony ans Set Work studies: there are seven people in my group so we get plenty of individual attention from our Tutor. The first night I was very intimidated by the knowledge of others in the group and almost felt like going home! But two days in I have now realised that, although knowledgeable in some areas, they are far behind me in others, notably the logical and mathematical theory of harmony. And much slower too. So that feels better.
This photo above is the Music School where we have the lectures and concerts for the whole school. Part of which dates from 1612 and was the Old Grammar School for Boys. Turning round on the spot the view is:
We could not be closer to the Cathedral unless we were in it! Absolute bliss. Wherever we are we hear the bells tolling for services, bell practice and the time of day.
On Sunday I played truant from what I thought looked like a very boring lecture (later everyone said it was!) and I went into the Cathedral instead. A service was in progress with full sung Eucharist and choir: heavenly music and at the end of the service people were played out to Widor’s Toccata for Organ.
Do go and listen to this and imagine me in all the beauty and splendour of the Cathedral, revelling in my summer school!
The organ was so powerful that at times the flag stones under my feet were resounding with the lowest notes. There is an organ recital in the Cathedral on Wednesday evening and I shall cut something else and go!!
Below is the inside of The college chapel where I am staying: this is where we have our seminar group lectures on the Historical Development of Music. I take great pleasure in sitting in the seats which used to be reserved for the more illustrious clerics, shaped like thrones, just below the organ.
The outside of the chapel:
The chapel undercroft where we go several times each day to look at the noticeboard for notices of workshops, music groups etc.
The view as we walk back up:
Everything I could have possibly hoped for. I’m in heaven folks!!