Alumna Sasha accompanies WGS Choir Trip

During the October half-term break, 1981 Leaver and Withington Governor Sasha Johnson Manning accompanied twenty-four members of the Senior Choir on what Music Teacher Miss Amy Holland described as "the trip of a lifetime" to a trio of historic Italian cities. 

Internationally renowned music composer and performer Sasha accompanied the Choir, Miss Holland and Director of Music Mrs Gilly Sargent on the trip to Venice, where the Choir took part in a mass at St Mark's Cathedral.  The trip evolved into a magical tour of Italy, on which Withington's choir won a legion of new fans with their impromptu performances. 

Click this image to view a slideshow of the trip and hear the Choir's performance in Venice (external website)

The party first flew to Milan, visiting the massive gothic Duomo, the fashion designer district of the quadrilatero della moda and enjoying a guided tour of La Scala, the city's legendary opera house. On day three they arrived in Verona. The girls were very excited by standing on 'Juliet's balcony' made famous in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and wowed tourists – mainly Americans – by staging an impromptu rehearsal in the city's landmark Roman amphitheatre. Miss Holland said: "Later we had an amazing guided tour of the Teatro Filarmonico and the girls were allowed to play the Steinway piano in the concert hall where Mozart had played when he was just 14."

In Venice they visited La Fenice, the opera house, took a gondola trip and attracted an ‘impressive' audience with their impromptu rehearsal outside in St Mark's Square. During the mass inside the cathedral – for which four parents had flown out – the choir sang a cappella works by Reger, Monteverdi, Gibbons and a 13th Century piece.

Said Miss Holland: "Sasha was incredible at schooling the girls all the way through the trip and their final performance in St Mark's Basilica was just magnificent."