Derby Weekend

I was proud to be one of two to represent WCCC at the recent weekend gathering of The Association of Cathedral Voluntary Choirs (ACVC), kindly and enthusiastically hosted by Derby Cathedral. Pre-Covid our gatherings were held every 18 months, but for that very reason, we haven’t met since 2019 so we were all determined to enter into the spirit of the occasion. You may well consider this to be a bit of a busman’s holiday, but it’s also a chance to sing lots of “big stuff’ (technical term!) and meet up with like minded people. (Historically numbers present could be in excess of 80 singers, but this time there were just 45 singers).

Lynne Browning, founding spirit of ACVC
Lynne Browning

ACVC was formed in 1997 on an initiative from the then vice-Chair of Wells’ own voluntary choir, Lynne Browning. Eighteen Cathedral voluntary choirs (howsoever called) joined during the first year. As geography makes it difficult to have a committee of representatives from different choirs, the Association is run by one choir at a time.   In addition to planning, financing and organising a main event, the host choir handles the administration of the Association during the period running up to it.

It was lovely to meet up with old friends from many cathedrals (Guildford, Coventry, Lichfield, Rochester, Southwell and the host choir, Derby, to name but a few). Lots of sharing of coffee, news and experiences and some interesting variety of choir dress. The services went well; it’s always interesting to see how quickly we get used to a new conductor and how soon we manage to sing the psalms as one!

An enjoyable weekend, in a building the style of which is about as far removed from Wells as is possible but still with plenty of interest and history to offer. A lovely weekend which satisfied on so many aspects! Perhaps we can send more singers next time …

Sally Walker

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