The Archbishop Temple Music Department Take on New York!

At 3am on Sunday 10th July 2016 forty three pupils aged 12 to 17 and five staff met outside school to catch a coach to Manchester Airport. After a quick flight to Schippol Airport, near Amsterdam, we then duly arrived at JFK Airport ready for a jam packed week of performances and sight seeing.

Our tour began the next day walking through the streets of Manhattan to the Intrepid. This is a decommisioned aircraft carrier that has been turned into an air, sea and space museum. It houses a space shuttle, a concorde and has a submarine that you can walk through. The choirs performed for an hour and a half on the flight deck, under the direction of our singing teacher, Joe Martin. We then walked over to the Rockefeller Centre. The whole group were amazed by the views from the top. We then rounded the day off with our first visit to Times Square and an evening meal at Planet Hollywood.

On Tuesday we descended into the subway and made our way down to Battery Park to catch the ferry over to Liberty Island for our second performance. In brilliant sunshine we performed an hour’s programme under the flag pole. After a spot of shopping on 5th Avenue we returned to Times Square for an evening meal at Bubba Gump Shrimp Restaurant. The day was rounded off by a night visit up the Empire State Building.

On Wednesday the first of the solo recitals took place as Andrew Woolcock performed an hour’s solo material on the marimba in the foyer of the United Nations Building. The rest of the group spent the morning in Central Park. The afternoon consisted of a couple of hours shopping in Macy’s, a meal at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square and then thirteen pupils from the group joined two staff in a visit to a jazz concert at the Birdland Jazz Club watching the legendary Tommy Igoe band which was the highlight of the tour for some of the group.

Our last full day started by catching the subway down to Trinity Church on Wall Street for a solo cornet/trumpet recital by Ben Jarvis. We then visited the pools next to the World Trade Centre which was very moving. After another subway ride and then getting caught in a downpour we returned to the hotel for the final time and began our journey home.

An amazing tour that will stay with the pupils for a long time to come.

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