Our brilliant Bloxham School Choir recently spent six days touring Vienna and had an absolutely wonderful time. Upper Sixth pupil Ada shares her thoughts on the trip:

The tour began with an early start from Bloxham at 2.30am! Our flight departed from Heathrow at 6.30, and once we landed we jumped straight into a quick meal which preceded our tour of the Mozart Haus. We then set off for the Belvedere Palace, home to Gustav Klimt’s famous painting ‘The Kiss,’ as well as beautiful grounds and gardens. After exploring the Palace, we returned to the city centre for an authentic Austrian dinner at Resuturant Lindenkeller, before we all rather collapsed on the bus, made it to the hotel to check in, and finally went to sleep after what had been a very long day.

On the second day, we departed for the experimental Haus der Musik, a veritable highlight for all. The best bits included the musical staircase, the Beethoven rap battle, and the virtual conductor experience (in which Mr Best was fired by the virtual orchestra!) We then walked from the Haus der Musik to the Naschtmarkt just as the rain set in, making for an interesting lunch in the open air market! Upon finishing the slightly soggy meal, we got back on the coach to travel to our first performance venue of the tour, at St Peterskirche. The choir were aided by the tremendous acoustics in the church and ended up giving a terrific performance, with Mozart’s Lacrimosa being a favourite among all, and around 300 members of Viennese public in attendance. Following the high from the performance, the choir descended upon Vienna’s Hard Rock Café for a well deserved dinner in the heart of the city.

The third day came around quickly and it heralded our biggest performance of the tour, but first we went to see the famous Lipizzaner dancing horses. We then broke off into groups for lunch and reconvened at our performance venue, the Capuchin Monastery, home to the Hapsburg Crypt and the Capuchin order of monks. After rehearsing, we visited the famous Musikverein. We all met up again for dinner at a pizza restaurant opposite our performance venue before our evening concert commenced at 7.30. This performance was by far our longest, lasting an hour, and featuring the full repertoire of the choir and Harmonix. Upon finishing, we went back to the hotel for some well earned social time.

On Wednesday, the first activity of the day consisted of a trip to the Easter market, which was unfortunately closed when we first turned up, but once it opened, we had a lovely time. In the afternoon we had a tour of the Schonbrunn Palace, which was the summer residence of the Hapsburg royal family. The audio tour taught us a lot of history, and some of the rooms were truly breath taking. In between our two activities for the day we had our final performance, which was in St Stephen’s Cathedral. This is where Mozart received a Catholic funeral service after his death, so it was amazing to perform some of his pieces in this space.

Thursday was our final day of the trip. We packed up all our belongings in the morning and headed to Prater amusement park. It’s the oldest amusement park in the world, and we took a group trip on the oldest Ferris wheel of its type still in existence, which stands at 212ft tall. The amusement park was a lot of fun for the students but at some points the staff seemed to be having even more fun than us! Afterwards, we headed to the airport to get ready to go home.

We arrived into Heathrow totally exhausted, but happy to have been part of a very successful choir tour.