It’s the 9th day of this pilgrimage. I’ve just finished breakfast and now I am heading across the street to the cathedral to begin my morning practice session. This has been my routine every day this week, as the cathedral is a busy place with various worship services and many tourists pouring through, personal practice time is limited for the organist. I’m able to practice “loudly” from 8:30 am til 10:00, after that it must be very quiet as to not disturb the docents from giving their tours.
For many of the choristers on this pilgrimage, it’s been a dream to be able to sing in an English cathedral. The same is true for me, I’ve always wanted to play the organ in an English cathedral. The week has been rich in making beautiful music with a good choir, a great guest conductor, and a wonderful space. I’m honored and humbled to be able to perform on a historical instrument that many famous organists have performed on since its installation in 1898.
A surprise after one of my practice sessions was a rare tour of the inner workings of the organ by one of the vergers. It was a rather intimidating journey from the ground floor to the high triforium where the swell and pedal divisions are located. This also allowed me some birdseye views of the cathedral that many don’t have the opportunity to see.
This week has been truly an enriching and life changing experience for me, I’m extremely grateful to David Kelley for the invitation back in 2018. The choir has been great to work with, and have been great to hang out with when not in performance mode.
Soli Deo Gloria!
–Dr. Christopher Reynolds