By SAMANTHA CUE
Over winter break, a group of students from the Pinewood Singers, Women’s Chorus, and Take Note traveled to London for a week to perform in Westminster Hall with the director and sub organist of the Westminster Abbey Choir, Peter Holder. They spent many hours rehearsing, spending time with Holder, and touring London. Although only 16 students attended, the trip was fun, filled with adventures, and provided a great bonding opportunity.
The performing arts students performed one show conducted by Holder alongside several choirs from around the country, and another on their own conducted by choir director Katie Linza.
Junior Quinn Bates described performing in Westminster Hall and working with Holder. “We had plenty of rehearsal time working with the other American choirs, and we had extra help from professional singers who made sure they sounded good. I really loved working with the director, Peter Holder, [because] he is a genuinely nice guy [and] good at directing us,” Bates said.
Linza commented on the opportunity to rehearse with Holder beforehand and perform with other choirs. “[When] he came to Pinewood in the fall, he was great and a really good director and a nice person. [The performance in London] was a great experience [with] three days of long three-hour rehearsals with him and the other choirs,” Linza said.
Along with performing, The choirs got a chance to explore the city, visiting the Tate Modern art gallery and exploring the South Bank area, a commercial district with theatres and art venues, among other exciting experiences.
Linza said, “We did a bus tour of London, a cruise of the river [where] we got to see London from the river, saw the London Eye, and [some] went to visit Greenwich.”
The choir also had a blast celebrating the New Year in London. Junior Megan Chou’s favorite part of the trip was the New Year’s party, where she got to meet new friends in choirs from places like North Bay, Florida, and Connecticut.
Bates and Chou both recommend that others take the leap, join choir, and get the chance to go on an adventurous trip like this. This experience could be a chance to meet new people, make fun memories, and learn something new.