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Paris Choir Tour

Thirty-one Milton Abbey choristers this week returned from a successful tour to Paris, where they enjoyed visiting and performing in some of the city's most famous landmarks.

The group, led by Mr Pirttijarvi, Head of Music, and accompanied by Mr Timmis, Ms Eldret and Miss Brook, departed from School on Friday morning, and got the tour off to a flying start when they gave an impromptu performance at St Pancras station, entertaining fellow passengers by playing both resident pianos (one of which had recently been donated to the station by Sir Elton John!).  Once the group arrived in France, they were greeted by their Tour Manager for the trip, William, and they set off for their hotel which was to be their base for the tour.

After an early start on Saturday, the group visited the Musee d'Orsay, a sculptures and paintings gallery, before enjoying some free time in the area and lunch at a local creperie.  The afternoon saw the choristers take part in a workshop and rehearsal with the resident choir at the Oratoir du Louvre, before travelling to the Notre Dame des Blancs Mantreaux where they were to give their first concert of the tour in front of an audience which included some parents.

On Sunday the group returned to the Oratoir du Louvre to sing alongside the choir once again in the service before visiting the Tour Montparnasse, a building which offers beautiful panoramic views of the city.  Monday began with a rehearsal at Notre Dame, before the pupils' final formal concert, which was performed on the steps at the high altar in front of an audience of hundreds and was undoubtedly the highlight of the trip for everyone.  The afternoon allowed time for a visit to the Opera Garnier, one of two famous opera houses in Paris and the setting for Phantom of the Opera, followed by some free time for shopping and sightseeing in the local area.

For the final night of the tour the group enjoyed a meal at the Chez Clement Opera Cafe before visiting the nearby Piano Bar, where the owners had agreed to them giving an impromptu cabaret performance, following on from the recent Cabaret Evening hosted at the School last week, which was enjoyed by a busy restaurant of diners!  On Tuesday morning it was time to leave and the group set off for the Gare du Nord, quickly identifying yet another piano which enabled them to continue singing and playing right up until passport control!

A highly successful tour thoroughly enjoyed by all.