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News > Foundation News > Singing in Spain - Grace Goes to Valencia

Singing in Spain - Grace Goes to Valencia

OJ Grace Taylor-West (Phoenix - 2018) spoke to the Hurst Foundation about her Oxford University choir tour to Spain.
The choir at San Nicolas
The choir at San Nicolas

I recently went to Valencia, Spain for a week on tour with Trinity College Choir, Oxford. I’d been a Scholar in the choir for several years, but unfortunately our previous tours had been cancelled because of the disruption caused by Covid! The whole trip went surprisingly smoothly, and we were able to sing in some incredible venues thanks to Pablo Márquez, the organist at Valencia Cathedral, who kindly organised it all for us.  

I really couldn’t believe the places that we sang in! We performed a paid concert in the Iglesia Jesuitas, and did both a Mass and a concert in Valencia’s Cathedral, as well as in the church of San Nicolas. San Nicolas in particular was absolutely stunning—I’d say it’s perhaps the most beautiful church I’ve ever been in. I had a solo in our concert there, and if I wasn’t nervous enough already, it turned out that we were being broadcast live on local TV! Our audiences were always really engaged and seemed to really enjoy our singing, definitely more than they enjoyed our subpar Spanish! We also got to meet and shake hands with the Cardinal Archbishop of Valencia who led the Mass at the Cathedral. This was a particularly special moment and he congratulated us on our performance, as well as us getting to grips so quickly with the Spanish order of service! 

Valencia as a place was also wonderful to visit. Some of my highlights include, of course, the Spanish tapas and paella, and I certainly ate as much of it as I possibly could. I also loved visiting the impressive aquarium complex, a nearby zoo, huge sandy beaches, and the Mercat Central: the largest food market I’ve ever been to.  

Though I’ve just finished my undergrad, I’m going back to Oxford for a French Masters in October, so I’ll definitely keep singing in the choir. I’m looking forward to our next tour already!  

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