Day 8: Even more Chicago…

Howdy partners. Today was another, and our final, day in Chicago. For reasons which are still somewhat unclear, the concert that was scheduled for this evening was cancelled last week, leaving us with a day free in our itinerary here in Chicago. This was no bad thing, as it means we’ll have chance for some great vocal rest over the next few days before the next concert, and also it has given us chance really to get to know this beautiful city well – something that isn’t always the case on tours such as this.

Much like yesterday, the men got the train in from La Grange into Chicago Union Station this morning. From there we split off into smaller groups to go and see the parts of the city we hadn’t covered yesterday. My group decided to go up to the top of Willis Tower (formally Sears Tower) – a building that was for a while the tallest structure in the world. It’s now been overtaken by a good few buildings both in America and abroad, but take it from me: it’s jolly tall. The views from the top are spectacular in every direction, but one was certainly reminded, looking northward, that ‘upon the north side lieth the city of the great King’ [Psalm 48: 2], and here is that view:

image

After the Willis Tower and some pizza-based lunch, some of us headed to the Art Insitute to view the beautiful collection there – some Renaissance works, some modern art, and a particularly beautiful impressionist section. This was a calming and enlightening way to spend the afternoon before dinner. Now for dinner, we parted ways; the church which had to cancel our concert offered us dinner anyway, and most of the men went southwards to take this dinner. A few of us, though, went instead to the Fourth Presbyterian Chuch to see a concert by The Tallis Scholars. They performed a concert of 16th and 17th century sacred music, focusing on the ‘Western Wind Mass’ by John Taverner (the original director of music at Christ Church!). They sang beautifully, and it was a pleasure for some of us to catch up with the singers over a pint or two after the concert, and it was particularly pleasing given how many of them (4 out of 10) had at one point sung with Christ Church Cathedral Choir! Here we are:

image Christ church old and new

For those who weren’t at the concert, the evening yielded a genuine Chicago blues bar, or otherwise socialising with our lovely hosts from Emmanuel Church. We’ve so enjoyed our time here in Chicago, and tomorrow we’ll be sad to leave, and sad to embark on another long coach journey. But we’re now on to the final two stops of tour and beginning to be excited about getting home for a few days off before the new term!

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