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Greensboro, NC
Rogue Valley, OR
St Luke's, TX
Church of Nativity, AL
St Mark's, IL
Christ Church, IL
St Mary's, AR
St Peters, NC
St Matthews, CA
St John, VA
St Mark's, CA

 

 

Greensboro Youth Chorus of Greensboro, NC
Artistic Director Ann Doyle
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Chester           A combination of Roman and Medieval relics, as well as many fine timber framed buildings, makes Chester (Roman city of Deva, one of England's most interesting cities.  Roman occupation in the later 1st Century made Chester an important military point.  During most of the Roman occupation it was the headquarters of one of the three Roman legions in Britain.  The present city wall follows the line of the Roman wall and in places incorporates pieces of it.  The most important Roman area is the amphitheatre.  It is the largest amphitheatre so far discovered in Britain.  Built of stone it covers an area of 314ft by 286ft with an arena of 190ft by 162ft.  The rows, a unique feature of the city can be found in Watergate Street, Eastgate Street and Bridge street.  You can inspect modern shops in the appropriate stretches of the streets, take the first flight of stairs you find between shops and find yourself walking on the roofs of the shops besides another row of shops set further back, an interesting form of pedestrian precinct.
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Snowdonia                      Snowdonia national park. 840 square miles of varied countryside-mountains, lakes, forests, estuaries and 25 miles of coastline.  It is not just a park but a working landscape, looked after by the park committee.
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Web Link to Snowdonia National Park

Snowdon Mountain Railway    The narrow gauge railway was opened in 1896 and the steam powered locomotives climb to within yards of the summit.  The track runs parallel to one of Snowdons most popular footpaths.  The mountain is 3,560 ft above sea level.
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Llanberis                          People have lived in the area of Llanberis since the Iron age.  Celts, Romans, St Padarn an early Christian Saint, and the Welsh Princes of Gwynedd.  The area abounds with ancient Welsh legends and folklore.
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Pass of Llanberis          The road down the pass descends some 1,200ft and is described by many as one of the most spectacular in Britain as it is squeezed between the flanks of Glyder Fawr (3,279ft) on the right and Snowdon (3,560ft) on the left.  The road snakes down between vertical cliffs which tower above, punctured by boulders some as big as houses.
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Betws - y - Coed              The village is beautifully set among conifer clad crags rising steeply above the Llugwy`s confluence with the Conwy.  It has been a gateway to Snowdonia ever since Thomas Telford`s road to Holyhead was driven through North Wales in the 19th Century. 
The town name, a mixture of English and Welsh to mean prayer house.  The first word is a Welsh version of the English (bed hus) which means bead house, bead meaning (prayer).  The Welsh Coed meaning wood.  The town name was first recorded in 1254 as Betus, recorded in its present form from the early 18th Century.
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Llechwedd Slate Mine              Please wear good shoes.
Llechwedd slate caverns were first opened to the public in 1972. The first ride of the day is to the miners tramway of 1846. Through a network of impressive caverns and tableaux.
The second ride to the deep mine with a walk through 10 chambers.
On the surface visit the village post office, pub and victorian shops.
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Beddgelert                        The dramatic beauty of Beddgelert`s setting is equalled by few British villages.  It stands where three valleys meet and looks South towards the pass of Aberglaslyn,  while Snowdon rises to the North.  The village of course is famous for the legend of Gelert the dog owned by Llywelyn the Great in the 13th Century.  According to legend he left the dog to guard his son, on returning he found the dog covered in blood and no sign of a body.  Thinking the dog had killed his son he had the dog killed, a little while later his son was found alive with a dead wolf nearby.  Gelert had in fact killed the wolf to save the son, Llywelyn was so upset he arranged for a grave to be dug for the dog in the village.
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St. Mary's Church, Beddgelert             The parish church had its origin in a Celtic Christian community established on the present site in the 6th Century.  It eventually became an Augustinian Priory Chapel in the 13th Century.  Little remains of the original chapel except the two fine 12th Century arches in the North wall, the doorway to the vestry and the East wall with its beautiful triple lancet window.
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Conwy                              The mighty castle and complete town walls on the river bank make Conwy a picturesque and richly historic centre.  It is probably one of the finest and most complete walled towns in Europe.  The walls themselves are over three quarters of a mile in length with 22 towers and three original gateways.  Conwy`s setting on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park and the Western bank of the River Conwy is unrivalled, as is its colourful history.  The Romans arrived in the area during the First Century A.D. and many invading kings from the East endured great hardship trying to cross the river to subdue the Welsh Princes on the Western bank.  When Edward I did eventually seize the bank, he built a castle to strengthen his position.  The population now spreads beyond the town walls to nearby Deganwy and Llandudno.  Along the quay in the shelter of these ancient walls is an old world full of interest.  Together with a house reputed to be the smallest in Britain and furnished as a mid Victorian Welsh cottage.
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Conwy Castle                  The castle was built by Edward I between 1283 and 1289.  He made it his headquarters for the struggle against the Welsh Prince Llywelyn.  Edward was himself besieged there by a large Welsh force from the hills in 1290.  The castle`s shape is actually dictated by the very rock on which it stands.  It has barbicans at either end and eight massive towers.  First impressions are of tremendous strength, a dominating position and yet with a compactness of design which renders it one of the most picturesque Welsh castles.
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Clynnog Fawr (St. Beuno's Church)    The church of St Beuno, 15/16th Century with its connected chapel of St Beuno.  It was here he founded a monastery and died in 630A.D.  According to legend he brought his niece St Winefride back to life after she was decapitated by a frustrated suitor.  The church is linked by a passageway to the chapel where the saints tomb survived until the end of the 18th Century.  Sick pilgrims were said to have been cured of all ills after sleeping on the grave's stone slab.
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Caernarfon                       Walls dating from the same period as the castle surround the town, which is a grid iron pattern of narrow streets.  The castle has stood guard over this busy little town situated on the Menai Strait for 700 years.  The towns earliest days are recalled as Segontium, a Roman fort on the road to Beddgelert.  The town is apparently built on the site of the Roman fort.  In Welsh- y gaer ar fon- means the fort or stronghold on the land opposite to Anglesey, or Mon as it is known.  Therefore the words gradually became Caer-nar fon.
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Caernarfon Castle          Begun in 1283 by Edward I, this magnificent fortress took 40 years to build.  Its walls, with the coloured bands of stone, are said to copy those of Constantinople.  It was the chief stronghold of the English invaders against the proud and warlike Welsh, but was completely destroyed by their attempts. Today its towers and walls still present an impressive sight.  It was here in 1969 that Prince Charles was invested as Prince of Wales and presented to the Welsh people from the balcony overlooking the square.
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Menai Strait        For many years the only access to Anglesey was by the famous Thomas Telford Menai Bridge opened on the 30th January 1826.  It is 1,000ft long, 579ft from pier to pier and 100ft above the water. When crossing the straits remember those other invaders who came 2,000 years ago.  The Romans.  Who also crossed these swirling waters to put the Druid Priests and their flower maidens to the sword in the 1st Century AD.  Their action broke the mystique of ritual and sacrifice that flourished at that time in the oak groves of the isle.  The isle of Anglesey is a bastion to the Welsh Language.
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Isle of Anglesey              For centuries Anglesey`s pastures and cornfields helped feed the peoples of Northern Wales and Snowdonia.  It earned the island the name “Mam Cymre” “mother of Wales” it is mostly flat compared to its neighbour, the mainland of North Wales, but its coastline is made up of fine sandy beaches, wide bays littered with rugged rocky headlands teeming with wildlife.  It is thought the first settlers came around 8,000B.C. and many prehistoric sites remain such as the stone age “Brycelli Ddu” burial chambers and the Iron age hill forts at Caer y Twr & Din Sylwy.  Whoever held Anglesey (the granary) it is said controlled North Wales.  The Romans came in 78A.D. and all but wiped out the Druids priesthood.  From the 7th Century the Princes of Gwynedd ruled this area.  Then in 1282 Edward I arrived building his castles to subdue the local inhabitants.  Anglesey also has another claim to fame; the village of Penmynydd was for many hundreds of years the family home of the Tudors.  Eventually merging with the English royal family in 1422 when Owen Tudor married Henry V's widow.  Their grandson of course becoming Henry Tudor taking the English throne in 1485.  Today the island is linked to the mainland by two bridges, the original Telford Menai suspension bridge 1,265 ft long, built in 1826 and the more recent Brittania rail bridge which was damaged by fire in 1970 and rebuilt.  In 1979 an upper road deck was added giving additional access to the island.
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Dublin                        Even in 140 a.d. Ptolemy observed that Eblana was a place of note, Ptolemy refers to the River Liffey as Oboka, meaning a delta.  It was however not until 840 a.d. that Norse sea rovers landed here and built a base for their maritime expeditions that the area really began to develop as a town.  The history of the area is really tied to the history of Ireland, never really settled, just like the name, the Irish called it Duibhlinn, the Norse called it Dyfflin, and the Anglo Normans Dublinne from which the present name derives.  A city steeped in history, it as fine wide streets, squares and parks with wonderful examples of Georgian architecture.  Visit Trinity College to see the famous book of Kells and if time allows while at St Patrick`s Cathedral visit Marsh`s library.
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St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin               Dedicated in 1192, the Cathedral was originally built by the Norman, Archbishop Comyn.  This early Norman church was rebuilt in the first half of the 13th Century, the building we see today.  Many interesting aspects to see, including the Medieval Chapter House door with an hole in it dating from 1492.  It gives rise to the English phrase "chancing your arm".  The Earl of Kildare cut the hole and through it stretched out his arm to grasp the hand of his enemy the Earl of Ormond.  By taking the initiative peace was restored between them and ever since the door as been known as the door of reconciliation.  Handels Messiah received its first performance in Dublin in 1742 sung by the combined choirs of St Patrick`s & Christ Church Cathedral`s.
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Guinness Storehouse    The storehouse was a Guinness fermentation tank from 1904 to 1988, it is now a 7 storey visitor centre, located in the heart of the world famous St James Gate Brewery.  If full this tank would hold 14,300,000 pints of the black stuff.
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National Museum of Ireland    Opened in Kildare Street 1890, the museum contains many artefacts dating from 700bc.  The archaeological collections consist of the treasury, featuring outstanding examples of Celtic and Medieval art.  The famous Ardagh Chalice and the Tara brooch dating from the 8th Century, the 12th Century Cross of Cong, said to contain a fragment of the true cross, the Derrynaflan Hoard, a collection of 8th and 9th Century silver objects found in Co Tipperary during 1980.  Look carefully at the Tara Brooch, see the intricate Filigee work on the front and back.  When you view the book of Kells this afternoon do consider it is from these patterns that it is thought the manuscript illuminations are derived.  Irelands gold, features the finest collection of prehistoric gold artefacts in Europe.
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Dublin Zoo                Opened in 1830 by the zoological society of Dublin. The zoo was initially supplied with animals from London zoo. It as now become one of the most respected zoo’s in the world.  Set in the lovely Phoenix Park, surrounded by lovely woodland and open spaces.  Today the zoo has over 35 keepers and animals from all round the world.  Elephants from the rainforest, giraffe and zebra from the plains of Africa.  Together with tigers, bats, lions, monkeys, gorillas, orang-utans, chimps, pandas, rhinos and many more.
Talks by the keepers and feeding times take place throughout the day and help to bring the wild life closer to the visitor.
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Town of Kells    A place of history, the original Monastery was founded by St Columba in the Sixth Century and from the early Ninth Century it was probably the leading Columban Monastery in Ireland.  The Monks from the original foundation on Iona fled here after repeated raids by the Vikings on their Scottish home.  It is thought they actually made the book of Kells on Iona and bought it with them when they moved here.  By the 12th Century continued raids by Vikings and then Normans eventually made up the minds of the Monks to move again and they left Kells and made their way to Derry where they set up a new headquarters.  Eventually by the time of the dissolution very little remained at Kells.  But do look round the village and church yard, many Monastic antiquities remain including some very special crosses dating back hundreds of years.
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Book of Kells         The library houses one of Irelands real treasures, an illuminated manuscript called the book of Kells.  Illuminated manuscripts are derived from the Celtic ecclesiastical tradition of Saint Columba. whose teachings spread not only through Ireland but Scotland and Northern England, together with areas of mainland Europe.  No one is quite sure if the book was copied and illuminated in Ireland, it may have been completed in Scotland on the Isle of Iona or even in England at Lindisfarne.  What we do know for sure is that the book was taken to the monastery of Kells in Co Meath for safe keeping during the Viking raids of the 9th Century.  After this unsettled period in Irish history the book spent some time buried underground, lost some 30 of its page and was not bought to Dublin till sometime in the 17th century.  The book now consists of some 680 pages written in Latin and follows the four gospels of the new testament.  It was rebound into four separate volumes in 1950 and one now has the chance to see at least two volumes on show at any one time. one showing an illuminated page and another a page of text.
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Trim Village & Castle    Plenty to see in this little village on the banks of the River Boyne.  The Castle used as a location for the Mel Gibson film Braveheart.  The first castle on the site was a simple Mott & Bailey type in 1173 but this was replaced in the 1190s and eventually grew into the finest and largest Anglo-Norman Castle in Ireland.  King John did stay at Trim in 1210 and Richard II incarcerated his ward Prince Henry of Lancaster (later Henry IV) here for some time.  The curtain wall of 488 yards encloses a area of approx 3 acres.  There are 10 D shaped towers and a square keep of over 70ft in height and walls that are over 11 feet thick.  Much in ruin now but the look and feel is very much of a typical English Medieval Castle.
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Cashel                        Originally the Fort of Munster and once capital of the southern province.  The town is completely dominated by the very famous Rock of Cashel which rearing up from the plain dominated the land routes to the south.  Kings of Ireland came to this spot together with St Patrick who preached here.  On this limestone outcrop stands the most beautiful and complete Romanesque church in the country. a medieval Cathedral, a castle tower house, a round tower and a 15th century hall of vicars, all of the finest medieval Irish architecture.  The Hall of Vicars was built in the 15th century to cater for eight vicars who assisted in the cathedral services.  The Cormacs chapel was built circa 1127, a superb Romanesque church, the architecture as clear continental influences.  The Cathedral built circa-1227 Anglo Norman in conception, it has Gothic arches but without doubt it is a purely Irish built unit.  The central tower is excitingly grand but did not appear till the early 14th century.  The Round Tower is without doubt the earliest building on the rock probably dating back to the 12th century although locals suggest even earlier circa 10th century
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Killarney                    Renown for its beauty, famed for the splendour of its scenery, Killarney is one of the world`s best loved tourist spots.  It became a significant town about 1750 when the local magnate, Lord Kenmare, developed the tourist business and four main roads were built to the outside world.  The present population is approx 9,000 and the main economic base is tourism.  The great assets of Killarney are the lakes, mountains and woods, although scattered and difficult to get around they are so very beautiful.  Situated in the South Western corner of Ireland with its three great lakes reflecting the ever changing skies, it has been an inspiration for poets, writers and painters for centuries.
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St Mary`s Church, Killarney                    St Mary`s Church of Ireland is located just a few yards from the centre of Killarney.  The Church contains some beautiful stained glass windows, including a replica of the “Christ with Lantern” also seen in St Pauls Cathedral in London.  This very pretty church was built in 1870 in the English Gothic style.  Long ago the site was part of an ancient religious complex and once included St Mary's well, reputed to cure a variety of ailments.  The interior is quite attractive and the Victorian tiled floor particularly impressive.
The organ is at ground level to the left of the altar and occupies the same volume as the vestry on the right side. The key and stop action are mechanical throughout and despite its age, It is probably the best instrument in Killarney.
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Ring of Kerry            To obtain a really panoramic view of Kerry's most outstanding scenery, this tour is a must! Extending for 112 miles and usually done in an anti clockwise direction, it follows the coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula, along the banks of the River Laune to Killorglin, via Glenbeigh, along the southern shores of Dingle Bay to Kells and Caherciveen where Valentia Island comes into view.  The tour continues to Waterville and along the coast via Coomakista pass and Derrynane and onto Sneem.  From Sneem to Kenmare and up the mountain road to Moll`s gap, then ladies view and back to Killarney.
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Sneem                         Situated in a beautiful location on the estuary of the Arsheelaun River, Sneem is a past winner of the Irish National tidy Towns competition.  A colourful village and last resting place of Cearbhall 0`Dalaigh a former President who his buried in the local Churchyard
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Cahersiveen            The capital town of the peninsula situated at the head of Valentia harbour on the Fertha river, the town is the main shopping area for this end of the ring.  In 1867 the great Fenian conspiracy led to an abortive rising here against the British.  It was planned to occupy the barracks and then the cable station in Valentia and from there inform a startled world that the Irish Republic had been proclaimed in Cathersiveen, but circumstances proved adverse.
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Valentia                 The Island is approx 11kms long by 3kms wide and is one of the most Westerly points of Europe.  The surface is rugged and rocky but does provide good sea angling.  The first telegraph cable (now superseded) across the Atlantic from U.S.A. came ashore here in 1858.
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Waterville                  The town nestles between Lough Currane and the Atlantic and is a world famous game fishing resort.  Fine scenery and many good beaches in the area.  Well loved by artists, archaeologists, botanists in fact everyone.  Also claims a world renown 18 hole golf course.
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Catherdaniel              This whole area contains evidence of occupation dating back 6,000/7,000 years. From Beaker folk coming from Spain to mine copper in 2,000 B.C. right back to Prehistoric graves from Neolithic times 4,000 B.C. invaders landed several times including the first military invaders from Greece on the 14th May 2680 B.C.
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Hotels

Royal Victoria Hotel,  Llanberis                    The Royal Victoria Hotel. Situated at the foot of mount Snowdon, Between the lakes of Padarn and Peris.  Set in acres of grounds with breath taking scenery all around.  The hotel was built some years ago but has 116 modern well equipped en - suite bedrooms and is proud of its comfortable and friendly atmosphere created by a fascinating mix of local characters and guests from all over europe.
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Rochestown Lodge, Dun Laoghaire           A nice hotel recently refurbished. All 90 bedrooms are en-suite.  Excellent restaurant and bar facilities.  With health centre and heated swimming pool.
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Killarney Towers, Killarney                            An extremely nice four star hotel with all en-suite rooms. Air conditioning,  Health centre with heated swimming pool, lovely restaurant and Scruffys, the hotels attached Irish bar.  Situated in the centre of the town.
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