Carya Ensemble
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St Pauls, NH
Uni of Pittsburgh
St Marks, ILL
St Marks, CA
Christ Church, MI
Christ Church, KY
St Pauls, CA
Carya Ensemble
Kelowna, Canada
Anglican, CT
Christ Church, ILL

 

 

Carya Ensemble
Tour and Choir Leaders Sonya Sutton & Carleen Dixon Webb

Download Itinerary

Lichfield                      A very pleasant small very English town.  Made famous by the cathedral which sits in a lovely close just on the edge of town.  The close contains some fine buildings, including the Deanery dating from the time of William and Mary.  The Bishops House and the Palace dating back to 1687 and which is now used as the Cathedral School.  These superb buildings surround the Cathedral and together with the most attractive lawns provide a wonderful back drop to the Cathedral architecture.  It is said by many to be the most complete close of any English Cathedral.  The town as a cobbled market square, narrow streets and many links with Dr Johnson, (his birthplace on the corner of Breadmarket Street) in Beacon Street is the house where Dr Erasmus Darwin lived (grandfather of Charles).  At the far end of market square is a memorial to Edward Wightman, who was burnt at the stake there for heresy on 11th April 1612, the last person so to die in England.  A commercial town rather than industrial with strong links with the land.  Obvious when its position set in the midst of rolling countryside is considered. 
Lichfield 
not an English word but much older, probably Celtic in origin, meaning Grey Forest from two words related to the modern Welsh Llwyd (Grey) and Coed (Wood, forest). the name was first recorded in the 4th Century as Letoceto (Roman). In year 730 as Liccidfeld and Lichesfeld in 1130.
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Lichfield Cathedral                        Dominating the skyline of Lichfield are the three lovely spires of the Cathedral “known locally as the ladies of the vale”.  The only Cathedral in England with three spires.  The first Cathedral on the site was recorded in 700A.D. and took the name of St Peter.  The first Bishop of Lichfield in 669 was St Chad, he died in 672 but exercised tremendous influence over the region.  Dedication of this first Cathedral was eventually changed to St Peter & St Chad.  The second Cathedral was built in 1100 to a Norman design but was not considered good enough so the more modern gothic design was started on the same site in 1200ad.  The twin spires are almost 200ft in height and the central tower 60ft taller.  Within the arcades and panels of the front are 113 statues.  The Cathedral suffered tremendous damage during the Civil War.  Cannon were used to get into the fortified close, the central spire was shot down in the course of one action, restoration programmes took place during the 17th, 18th & 19th Centuries.  The lady chapel is unusual because it is the full height of the Cathedral and forms a magnificent Eastern termination.  Possibly the finest feature of the chapel is the wonderful long windows filled with stained glass from the Abbey of Herckenrode in Flanders.
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Anne Hathaway's Cottege            This well preserved example of early domestic architecture with its picturesque thatched roof was the home of William Shakespeare's wife before her marriage.  Her family the Hathaways lived here close to the village of Shottery for some years.    
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Stratford upon Avon                       Situated on the West bank of the River Avon.  Many 15th and 16th Century timber framed houses still exist and in many of its streets the essential character of a thriving market town still purveys.  However it can not be denied that it is justly famous because on or about 23rd April 1564 William Shakespeare was born here and a few days later baptised at the Parish Church of Holy Trinity.  There is however evidence of a Bronze age settlement in the area and a Romano British village.  A Monastery was founded in Anglo Saxon days and by the year 1196 the town was granted the right to hold a weekly market.  The town name means ford by a Roman road.  In this case over the River Avon and the Roman road is the one joining the Roman settlements of Alcester and Tiddington.  The ford was actually at the point where Bridgefoot Crosses the River now.  The name was recorded as Stretford approx 700 years ago.
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Shakespeare Birthplace Museum         The Cottage was the childhood home of William Shakespeare.  The cottage is authentically furnished throughout with both original and replica items from this time period of his life.  To the rear is a lovely garden and adjoining is a superb exhibition charting his professional and private life including a first edition of his colleted plays published in 1623.
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Chatsworth                Here in a lovely park stands one of Englands greatest houses, home of the Dukes of Devonshire.  The first house was built by Bess of Hardwick starting in 1552.  Mary Queen of Scots was a prisoner at Chatsworth at various times between 1569-1584.  Alterations to the original house began in 1686 by the 1st Duke of Devonshire (formerly 4th Earl of Cavendish) and continued until just before his death in 1707.  The house from the outside is imposing but inside is full of beauty, elegance and splendour.  The rooms are full of paintings antiques & some of the finest furnishings in the country.  Much of the fine carving both in wood and in stone is the work of Samuel Watson of Heanor.  The gardens outside where loosely designed by Capability Brown during the 1760s but most of what you see today is the work of Joseph Paxton who was a friend of the 6th Duke and eventually went on to design the Crystal Palace in London. The waterworks in the gardens are outstanding, the cascade, fountains canal pond & the magnificent emperor fountain which can throw a jet of water over 290 feet and is operated solely by the water pressure of the head of water from the large pond constructed on the top of the hill.  A visit to remember in such a beautiful setting.
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St. Davids                        This tiny City (Britain’s smallest) grew up around the religious settlement founded by St David, (patron saint of Wales ) in the 6th Century.  It is situated on St Davids peninsula, a Celtic place of pilgrimage and peace, a granite ledge of land jutting out into the Atlantic ocean.  A truly magical place of inspiring beauty with golden beaches, stunning coastline, nature and wildlife in abundance.  Over the centuries, an important place situated as it is en route to Ireland.  Many are said to have passed this way, King Arthur landed on St Davids shores, Black Bart, creator of the Jolly Roger embarked on piracy from nearby Solva Harbour and pilgrims in their thousands have trodden the ancient roads.
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St. Davids Cathedral                                St Davids Cathedral almost hidden from view in a valley at the far West of the city occupies a site of a religious settlement founded by St David in the 6th Century.  Tradition also has it that he was born here.  His mother, so the story goes, gave birth to him on the spot on the cliffs to the South of the Cathedral now marked by the ruins of St Nons chapel.  The Cathedral with its wonderful oak roof dates back to the 12th Century (circa 1181-82), for centuries it was a place of pilgrimage, (two visits to St Davids being equal to one visit to Rome).  Next to the Cathedral are the remains of the ruined Bishops Palace, how splendid this must have looked in its prime.  Uniquely the sovereign of the United Kingdom is a member of the chapter and therefore has his/her own royal stall.
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Pembroke Castle           Built in your dreams, Hollywood could not have built a better example of a Norman castle.  Started in 1189 the inner ward consisted of walls and a massive round keep 75ft high and 50ft in diameter.  Five floors beneath a stone dome, the walls at the base being over 19ft thick.  Thought to have been built by William Marshal Earl of Pembroke in about 1200.  The walls of the outer ward date back to the 13th Century.  A castle with a tremendous history and a major claim to fame.  The Birthplace of the Tudor dynasty.  You need no reminder of Henry VIII or Elizabeth I.  The Henry VII tower is believed to house the room where a baby was born in 1456 to a young 15yr old girl Margaret Beaufort wife of Edmund Earl of Richmond, older brother of Jasper Tewdwr Earl of Pembroke.  This young infant became Henry Tewdwr (Tudor) went on to become Earl of Richmond after his father died, then defeated Richard III at Bosworth Field and by right of battle rather than right of descent became King Henry VII of England first sovereign of the Tudor dynasty.  His son eventually became Henry VIII and his granddaughter Elizabeth I.
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The Welsh Valleys          Historically the Coal Mining, Iron Ore and Steel producing area of South Wales.  In 1920 there were 256,000 people working in the 620 coal mines of the Valleys, producing a third of the worlds coal.  After WWII these industries entered a steep decline with cheaper imports and then following the miners strikes of the 1980's the government forced the closer of the remaining pits as they were not economical to run and by 1994 only one coal mine remained open.  The Valleys, as the name implies are an area of deep sided glacial valleys running from the Brecon Beacons 30 miles from the cost, these valleys flow like fingers towards the sea.  With few roads leading between the valleys over the mountains the main links are at the heads of the valleys or down in the lowlands near the coast.  This is great walking and and adventure sports country and the Military use the area extensively for training.  One of the things the Welsh Valleys are famous for are their Male Voice Choirs, known through out the world the deep voices are said to come from the coal dust that historically filled the air of the valleys.
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Brecon                               Situated at the confluence of the Rivers Usk & Honddu in a pastoral vale dominated by the peaks of the Brecon Beacons.  One of the oldest Welsh towns, granted its first charter in 1246 and in 1366 another charter gave it the right to hold a fair.  The town centre is a mix of Medieval, Georgian, Jacobean and Tudor architecture with narrow streets and alleyways leading in all directions from the central square which is overlooked by the 16th Century St Mary`s Church.  On the Western bank of the Usk is Christ College founded in 1541 it incorporates the remains of a 12th Century friary and its chapel being one of the oldest places of worship still in use in Wales.  The priory church of St John dating from the 13/14th Centuries was designated a Cathedral in 1923.  Although small, only 250 ft long, it does give the impression of a stark and fortress like strength with its simple lines and massive tower. 
Brecon:
derives from the personal name “Brychan” who was a 5th Century Welsh Prince.  In the 15th Century as the welsh “Brycheinioc”. the current Welsh name is Aberhonddu.  Aber means “place at the mouth of two rivers” and Honddu means pleasant.  Brecon is therefore at the confluence of the Honddu and the Usk.
Web Link for the town

Web Link for the Cathedral  

Gloucester                      Began life as a Roman fort which guarded the lowest Severn crossing and the legions route into Wales (Glevum).  The city later became the residence of Norman Kings, while here William the Conqueror decided on the Doomsday survey.  The city has long been an inland port with its own harbour master.  Famous for its Cathedral it has also been the focal point of other important historic occurrences.  The city's main thoroughfares still follow the Roman roads and meet at the Cross.  In Brunswick Street is a memorial to Robert Raikes who founded the Sunday School movement in nearby St Catherine Street.  The New Inn in Northgate Street was a half timbered 15th Century pilgrims hostelry.  The Ravern Tavern in Hare Lane, once the home of the Hoare Family who sailed in the mayflower to New England.
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Gloucester Cathedral                    The present Cathedral was started in about 1089 by a monk called Serlo from Mont St Michael in France.  The building was consecrated in 1100 though work did continue for some years to come.  The great East window is the largest Medieval window in Europe.  A central tower was built approx 1450 to replace the Norman one.  The tower stands 225 feet high and is one of the glories of Gloucester, seen for miles around.  The first appearance is of a Gothic Cathedral, but further close inspection will reveal its Norman structure.  The cloisters are amongst the finest in England and are the earliest fan vaulted cloister still in existence.  They were built in the 14th Century and contain a magnificent lavatorium in the North range and study carrels in the South range.  The Kings school is very much a part of the foundation, where the Cathedral Choristers are educated.  Music is very much a part of the tradition of Gloucester and is the venue every 3 years for the three choirs festival.
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