A party of 27 Haverhill Choral Society members returned recently from a long weekend in Pont St Esprit, Haverhill’s twin town in France.
The trip was arranged to mark the 25th anniversary of a similar visit in 1991, and the choir had been invited by local choir Les Voix de Si de La, to join them in presenting a concert in the cathedral.
The Choral Society sang a selection of six popular pieces, including the The Lord is my Shepherd, directed by the Society’s musical director Jane Wright who, with some other long-standing members, had been on the previous visit.
Later they joined the host choir for the finale which included The Hallelujah Chorus (in French) and Cantique de Jean Racine, all in front of an enthusiastic audience of over 200.
Afterwards a post-concert reception was held at La Salle de Fête, the hall where many of the town twinning functions are held and where Jess Long, soprano, presented a commemorative banner to Georges Ciontu, director of Les Voix de Si de La.
Members of the choir were hosted by their French counterparts who provided accommodation and transport for the stay during which time a full programme had been arranged including visits to an impressive cave, L’Aven d’Orgnac, the famous Le Pont du Gard amongst others provided by their hosts.
Needless to say the cuisine was of a high standard, culminating in a delicious 5 course meal at “L’Auberge Provençale” in Pont St. Esprint, where David Rowlinson thanked the choir’s hosts for their generous hospitality and extended an invitation for their choir to visit Haverhill next year.