Tour 2010 Photo Album

Choir and clergy in Salisbury Cathedral August 14, 2010. (Photo: John Meadows)

7,500 MILES


Singing, sightseeing and socializing for two weeks – it truly doesn't get any better than that. In August, 44 choristers, plus 22 friends, family members, clergy and parishioners, travelled to England, where the St. Thomas's Choir, led by John Tuttle and Elizabeth Anderson, served as choir-in-residence at two cathedrals: Salisbury and St. Paul's, London. (Text and photos by Julia Armstrong except where photo credits noted.)

In rehearsal the week of departure. 

Alto lead Bonnie McKenzie with daughter Grace at Pearson International.

Almost time to board for the 11 pm flight August 6.



The whole group was charmed by Salisbury, an inviting city that's easy to get to know. We stayed in Sarum College in the close, a short walk from the cathedral. 


The check-in lineup at Sarum College.

View of cathedral from top floor of Sarum College.

Downtown Salisbury.


Each afternoon, the choir had an hour-long rehearsal (in cassocks in the stalls) for evensong, while tourists gathered on the other side of the rope to snap photos and listen for a few moments. 

Tenor lead James Tuttle.


Decani sopranos Julia Armstrong, Robin Wynberg, Kate Melville and Crystal Sayler, photographed by lead Jennifer McCallum.

After a short break, it was time to put on surplices and line up in the south aisle, ready for the precentor to say a prayer and the verger to lead us in procession.


The clergy were very welcoming and appreciative. After our first evensong, it was nice to hear one of the priests say, "I can see that our worship this week is in very good hands indeed." There were also several Toronto clergy along with us – the Rev. Mark Andrews, the Rev. Ian Nichols, the Rev. Susan Haig and the Rev. David Mulholland – and it was nice that they were invited to take part. We filled Sarum College, with a few folks staying in a B & B just down the lane. It was great to come together regularly for meals. After dinner, some would gather in the college lounge to check e-mails, post photos on Facebook, and have a beer or sherry (the porter trusted us to tend bar ourselves!); others would head to The Cloisters pub just outside the gate for a pint of bitter or cider.

Dining hall at Sarum College. We were extremely well fed!


One morning, the entire group was treated to a cathedral tour led by volunteer guides, with a visit to the chapter house to see the Magna Carta. (On the north wall of the cathedral is a plaque that commemorates the victims of a 1906 railway crash in Salisbury; one was Edward Ley King, vicar at St.Thomas's.) 

Salisbury Cathedral guided tour. 

A plaque on north wall is dedicated to the victims of the 1903 railway accident, including Edward Ley King, who was a vicar at St. Thomas's, Toronto. 

Alto and choir librarian Dorothy Parr and tenor lead (and organizing committee chair) David Montgomery in the cloisters.

Those who signed up to climb the cathedral spire were rewarded with a breathtaking vista. 

Cathedral spire climb: interior of spire and view from the top.

Alto lead Janice Kerkkamp and daughters Laura and Julia. (Photos: John Meadows)


Throughout the week, many took advantage of the tourist information centre's guided walking tours to learn more about the city's history. A couple of groups also spent a morning hiking two miles north of the city to Old Sarum, where the first cathedral was built close to 1,000 years ago. The walk there and back – past community gardens, grazing sheep and giant elderberry bushes – was as enjoyable as the exploration of the ruins of the old cathedral. 

Walk to Old Sarum. 

Information plaque at the site of the ruins.

View of Salisbury from Old Sarum.


On the other side of town is a scenic path along the Water Meadows, where you can take in a view of the present cathedral just as Constable painted it. After dinner, as the sun bathed the spire in a golden glow, it was a perfect time to stroll around the close, take some photos and admire people's gardens.

Cathedral at dusk. 

Beautiful gardens in the town.

Stained glass reflected in the beautifully designed font. (Photo: Alexander Smith)

Parishioner Marilyn Ramsingh sketching scenes in the cathedral close.


While in Salisbury, we had one full day off. Our wonderful tour committee had organized outings to Stonehenge and Avebury. Then the two coaches went separate ways, one to Bath and the other to Oxford. In Bath, people visitedthe magnificent Roman Baths, the Abbey and the Jane Austen Museum; the Oxford group spent an enjoyable afternoon exploring the colleges, chapels and shops.

Associate organist Elizabeth Anderson at Stonehenge on her birthday.



Scenes from Bath: Royal National Hospital, Bath Abbey Roman Baths. (Photos: Jennifer McCallum)


Our week at Salisbury started to draw to a close on the Eve of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Evensong concluded with a long procession from the quire to Trinity Chapel, where we sang Rachmaninoff's "Bogoroditse Devo" ("Ave Maria"). At Eucharist the next morning (August 15),we performed Palestrina's "Missa Assumpta Est Maria" and Tavener's "Hymn to the Mother of God." The cathedral is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, so it was indeed a privilege to be part of the Marian festival in this centuries-old house of worship.

Everyone was a little melancholy about leaving Salisbury – it had begun to feel like home. Our thanks to the clergy and staff of the cathedral, and to the staff at Sarum College for their wonderful hospitality. A few weeks after our return, John Tuttle received a letter from the precentor, Canon Jeremy Davies, thanking us for our contribution to the worship and inviting us to return any time.

"Team soprano" photographed in the cloisters (Photo courtesy of J. McCallum)



Right after evensong on the 15th, we boarded our coaches for London and geared up for a completely different pace. Late that evening we checked into Bankside House, a large residence (London School of Economics) on the South Bank. The rooms weren't as charming as those of Sarum College and the plumbing was a little unreliable, but the price was right and the central location couldn't be beat.

Crossing Millennium Bridge to get to St. Paul's Cathedral.

What a thrill it was to sing in the cathedral for the first time. Just as we finished our hour-long rehearsal and were lining up in the south aisle to practise the procession with a virger (at St. Paul's, we noted, they spell it with an "i"), the fire alarm went off. Staff swiftly shepherded everyone out the west exit.

As astonished passersby watched the mob of tourists spill out onto the front steps (some even snapped photos of the choir huddled together), we learned that smoke had been detected in the organ chamber. It looked doubtful that 5:00 evensong would go ahead. A little later, after consulting with John Tuttle, the virgers told us that the tourists would be made to stand aside so that we could be ushered back inside first. The organ couldn't be used, so John spread the word that we would do our a cappella Byrd canticles instead of the accompanied setting we had just rehearsed. We dashed to the opposite end of the cathedral, downstairs to thechoir room to grab the other music and our surplices, and bounded upstairs just in time for the bell. We learned later that the clergy and staff were quite impressed – they had fully expected that evensong would have to be cancelled. Not on our watch! For our last evensong, it was a thrill to perform the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis that Howells wrote for St. Paul's, with the final fortissimo chord of the "Gloria patri" ringing back at us for several satisfying seconds.

John, David and Diana Tuttle, with former chorister Kelly Baxter Golding, who came
to hear us sing evensong.


While in London, we packed in as much morning sightseeing as possible. Several folks visited the London Eye, the Tower of London, Kew Gardens, Buckingham Palace and Hampton Court. We also had a tour of Canada House, which we learned came into Canada's possession through the work and generosity of Peter Larkin, father of St. Thomas's benefactor Gerald Larkin.

Alto Katherine Barber (Canada's Word Lady) visited the house where Samuel Johnson's dictionary was compiled. "As you enter the quiet square, you are greeted by this lovely statue of Samuel Johnson's cat, Hodge," says Katherine. "Johnson spoiled his cat, going out to buy him fresh oysters. You can see the oysters on the Dictionary, which serves as the base of the statue." Katherine, also a cat lover, bought herself a Hodge souvenir.



A big thank-you to St. Thomas's parishioner Tom Agnew, who arranged for his brother Dermot to give our entire group a tour of the Covent Garden Opera House. Dermot, who is the chorus manager for The Royal Opera, told us a bit about the shows they were rehearsing, including Gounod's Roméo et Juliette, and showed us the immense backstage area, where two sets were under construction. Luckily, as we were touring the office area, with its gallery of famous singers and past productions,one of the costume department heads came along. She invited us to have a look inside the women's costume room, where gorgeous bolts of fabric were spread out, a set of costumes had just been returned from tour, and dress forms representing various leads were in mid-design. She told us that one recent production required five different costumes for each of 30 singers – and that was just the chorus!

We then checked out the beautiful patron lounges and finally the hall itself, which is sumptuously decorated in gold and red velvet. Dermot made sure he pointed out the royal box. Someone suggested we sing something, and John Tuttle joked, "Oh no you don't – then you'll all be on Facebook announcing that you've made your Covent Garden debut!"


Covent Garden Opera tour with chorus manager Dermot Agnew (above),
brother of St. Thomas's parishioner Tom Agnew. (Photos: John Meadows)




To celebrate the tour, a farewell dinner cruise was arranged (made possible in part through a generous anonymous donation). We enjoyed a roast beef dinner as we cruised downstream beyond the Thames Barrier and back upriver. Several friends of the parish joined the festivities, including Kelly Baxter Golding, in England on a family vacation, and Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, now at the Anglican Communion Office in London.

Kelly Baxter Golding with Diana Tuttle.

Thames dinner cruise (Photos: John Meadows)



The choir and the rest of the tour family wish to express our immense gratitude to the planning committee – David Montgomery, Jean Nichols, John and Diana Tuttle, Fr. Mark Andrews, Lorne Swan, Suzanne Coultes, Anna and Rob Kennedy, Elizabeth Anderson, Jennifer McCallum and Jim Webster – for their extraordinary efforts. Thanks also to all the parishioners and friends who supported our fundraising events and wished us well. A huge thank-you to director of music John Tuttle and associate organist Elizabeth Anderson for their hard work preparing us (including all that Anglican chant!) and for their always inspired conducting and playing. The 2010 tour was truly an experience of a lifetime, especially because it was shared with so many good friends. — Julia Armstrong

Choir and clergy in St. Paul's Cathedral south aisle. (Photo: John Meadows)




Music for Salisbury Cathedral

Monday, August 9

Versicles and Responses, Smith of Durham

Psalm 47 (Davy); Psalm 48 (Turle)

Canticles: The Short Service, William Byrd

Anthem: Christe qui lux es et dies, Robert White


Tuesday, August 10

Versicles and Responses, Smith of Durham

Psalm 53 (Stanford); Psalm 54 (Martin)

Canticles: The Edington Service, Grayston Ives

Anthem: O Lord, support us, Derek Holman


Wednesday, August 11

Versicles and Responses, Smith of Durham

Psalm 59 (omit 12, 13), South & Nares

Canticles: The Short Service in A Flat, Orlando Gibbons

Anthem: O Lorde, the maker of al thing, William Mundy


Thursday, August 12

Versicles and Responses, Bernard Rose

Psalm 66, Atkins

Canticles: The Gloucester Service, Herbert Howells

Anthem: Bleib bei uns, Josef Rheinberger


Friday, August 13



Saturday, August 14

Evensong includes a procession to theshrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Hymns: NEH 184, NEH 185

Versicles and Responses, Bernard Rose

Psalm 73, Monk & Smart

Canticles: The Emmanuel College Service, Bryan Kelly

Anthems: I beheld her, beautiful as a dove, Healey Willan

Ave Maria, Sergei Rachmaninoff


Sunday, August 15

Feast Day of The Blessed Virgin Mary


Hymns: NEH 188, 182, 271, and 186

Mass: Missa "Assumpta est Maria," Palestrina

Communion Motet: A Hymn to the Mother of God, John Tavener


Hymns: NEH 183, HHT 27

Versicles and Responses, Bernard Rose

Psalm 132, Bridge

Canticles: The Salisbury Canticles, Richard Lloyd

Anthem: Ave Maria, Josquin des Prez


* - NEH = New English Hymnal, HHT = 100 Hymns for Today



Music for St. Paul's Cathedral


Monday, August 16

Versicles and Responses, Kenneth Leighton

Psalm 1, F.A.G. Ouseley

Canticles: The Emmanuel College Service, Bryan Kelly

Anthem: Beati quorum via, C.V. Stanford


Tuesday, August 17

Versicles and Responses: Kenneth Leighton

Psalm 6, W. Crotch

Canticles: The Short Service in A Flat, Orlando Gibbons

Anthem: In pace, William Blitheman


Wednesday, August 18

Versicles and Responses: Kenneth Leighton

Psalm 11, F. Flintoft

Canticles: The Edington Service, Grayston Ives

Anthem: Faire is the Heaven, William H. Harris


Thursday, August 19

Versicles and Responses: Kenneth Leighton

Psalm 16, J. Randall

Canticles: The Salisbury Service, Richard Lloyd

Anthem: Never weather-beaten sail, C. Hubert H. Parry


Friday, August 20

Versicles and Responses: Kenneth Leighton

Psalm 20, H.G. Ley

Canticles: The Short Service, William Byrd

Anthem: Os justi meditabitur, Anton Bruckner


Saturday, August 21

Versicles and Responses: Kenneth Leighton

Psalm 23, J. Goss

Canticles: St. Paul's Service, Herbert Howells

Anthem: O Lord, support us all the day long, Derek Holman