The ChristChurch Cathedral Choir


To Japan & back – The Cathedral Choristers tour.

The Cathedral Choristers have just returned after a hugely successful trip to Sydney, Tokyo and Kyoto. During that time, as superb ambassadors for their School, Cathedral and City, they sang at Cathedrals, churches, schools and universities, saw the sights, experienced the culture and also had time to let their hair down!

In Sydney, they joined the boys of St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral and also their fellow choristers at St Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral. These boys attend the only other choir school in the southern hemisphere and it was good to strengthen that link. There was also time to visit the zoo, National Maritime Museum and tour the Opera House and SCG.

Japan was a new experience for all members of the tour and it was one that will be remembered for a long time. Wherever we went, as tourists or as performers, we received the most gracious of welcomes. At a visit to Yokohama High School (which has made annual visits to our Cathedral every year for the last 25 years), the boys were treated as rock stars. They gave a concert in front of 800 girls, who giggled, waved and screamed between each item. By co-incidence, the girls from Yokohama were making their annual visit to Christchurch only a week after we retuned home from Japan.  So, it was great to welcome them to our home so soon after visiting theirs.

Again, there was plenty of time to be tourists, traveling on the bullet train, visiting ancient shrines and temples in Kyoto, one of the tallest buildings on the planet in Tokyo and the Miraikan Science and Technology museum where they rode on small self-propelled vehicles, not yet seen in NZ. Two days were spent at Tokyo Disney at the end of the trip where the group was dropped, thrown, hurtled, twisted, dampened, plunged, and plummeted in a wide variety of rides. No damage, but chiropractors could do a booming business in years to come.

Einstein wrote that “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school”. The boys may not realise it just yet, but this trip will have been one of their most significant educational experiences. No-one can ever improve on the experience of actually visiting a place, hearing the sounds, seeing the sights and smelling the smells (even the unpleasant ones). The boys came back buzzing and I’m sure it took a while for families to bring them back to earth! It was our privilege to take this group away. They were magnificent traveling companions and did themselves, their cathedral, their school and their city proud. Our grateful thanks go to all those who made it possible – from the core of hard-working fundraising parents to the many hundreds who attended events. Without such generous support, this trip could not have happened.

Chris Oldham & John Linker


Click here to view photos from the tour.