A demonstration of the cathedral’s magnificent Lewis organ by world renowned composer Philip Wilby was one of the hi-lights of a visit by 40 school children from Nepal.
This is the first time that the children, from the Khatmandu region, have travelled abroad. They came with their 11 teachers ahead of two Kids Aloud concerts at the Royal Hall, Harrogate, where they were joined by around 500 children from the area.
Whilst visiting the cathedral the school pupils enjoyed a tour of the bell tower, the Anglo Saxon crypt (the oldest part of any English cathedral) and some fun song and dance. They come from two schools, one in Kathmandu and the other in the remote Panchamul Valley, west of Pokhara.
The trip’s been organised by Harrogate Brigantes Rotary Club which supports schools and communities in Nepal. Guy Wilson, a member of the cathedral community, is artistic director of the show which took place at the Royal Hall on March 29 and 30.
The second half of the performance was a musical version of a Nepalese fairy tale about a monkey boy born to human parents. Guy adapted the story and the children wrote most of the songs with the help of composer Shri Sriram who played bass and Indian flute in the performances.
Sumit Pokhrel, their music teacher said: “This is a completely new experience for them; to sing in a choir is very rare. It is beyond our imagination, something like that! They have never been in this type of building – a church – there is nothing as old in our country.”
Visiting the cathedral has been one of many new experiences for them; learning to eat with cutlery and use a normal flushing lavatory are among the others!