Halifax choristers on way back from twin town visit

Young choristers from Halifax Minster Choir and its Chamber Choir have just returned from a five day singing tour of their twin town Aachen.

The group of 25 visiting choristers from Halifax’s Minster Choir and the Minster’s Chamber Choir, aged from seven to 14, gave seven performances over five days last week and were accompanied to Germany by their parents and their own Halifax MP, Holly Lynch.

One of the key performances took place in the historic Aachen Cathedral traditionally known in English as the Cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle.This Roman Catholic cathedral is one of the oldest in Europe and was constructed by order of the Emperor Charlemagne, who was buried there after his death in 814. For 595 years, from 936 to 1531, the Palatine Chapel, which is the heart of the cathedral, was the church of coronation for 31 German kings and 12 queens.

Other performances were given in Aachen Town Hall where a civic reception was  arranged for the Halifax visitors.

Vicar of Halifax, the Rev Canon Hilary Barber said: “The visit was arranged to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the German Reformation, and is a wonderful opportunity for our choristers to perform in Halifax’s twin town, especially in the magnificent setting of Aachen Cathedral.

“It also cements the strong bond Halifax has been fortunate to enjoy with Aachen through the Halifax Aachen Society for the past 65 years. Each year our links grow stronger and our friendships  flourish. Everyone is very excited about the trip – and about singing in front of our guests in a mixture of English, Latin and of course German!”

The choristers also performed at a special Reformation service, attended by visitors from the UK, Tanzania and Indonesia. Lutheran Bishop Jens-Peter Bentzin, who was invited to Halifax to take part in a special English-German Remembrance Sunday service in 2014, welcomed the Halifax guests.