London Concert Venue

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the second of the series, is on the concert venue the ensemble will play in London.


Saint James's Church

Saint James’s Church, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed 1684

The first concert of the DHSBE 2020 tour will be in St James, Piccadilly, which has an acoustic well suited to the performance of baroque music.

The church, designed by Sir Christopher Wren (architect of St Paul’s Cathedral), was completed 1684. It is built of red brick (a style quite new in the late 17th century) with Portland stone dressings (a pale color stone much used for government buildings). Its interior has galleries on three sides supported by square pillars and the nave has a barrel vault supported by Corinthian columns. The carved marble font, and limewood reredos are both notable examples of the work of the Anglo-Dutch stone mason and woodcarver Grinling Gibbons (his work can also be seen in St Paul’s Cathedral, and in Trinity College, Cambridge, the venue for the second concert by Davis High school Baroque Ensemble).

London Places of Interest

Over the coming months there will be four blog posts for each city on the Davis High School Baroque Ensemble’s 2020 England-France Tour tour: Place of Interest; Concert Venue; Music; History of the city. This week’s post, the first of the series, is on places of interest in London.


The 'London Eye' with Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in the background

The ‘London Eye’ with Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in the background

London has a many important cultural sites including:

  • The Tower of London
  • St. Paul’s  Cathedral
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Palace of Westminster
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Trafalgar Square
  • National Gallery and adjacent National Portrait Gallery
  • Science Museum, and nearby Victoria & Albert Museum
  • The London Museum
  • Handel & Jimi Hendrix House Museum
  • ‘London Eye’
  • Covent Garden market
  • Boat trips on the Thames

Transportation in central London is easy by the ‘Tube’, and many sights are close enough to walk between them (e.g., St Paul’s, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, & Tate Modern; London Eye, Houses of Parliament, & Westminster Abbey). Oxford Street, Regent’s Street, Bond Street, & Covent Garden Market are popular areas for shopping. The historic sites – Hampton Court Palace, and Greenwich are further afield.

2020 Tour Blog Introduction

louvre museumDavis Senior High School has the distinction of having a really excellent music program directed by Angelo Moreno. The Baroque Ensemble, founded by Mr Moreno, was the first in a public school in US, and even now there are very few public schools with a program focused on historically informed performance of baroque music, and only one other that uses period instruments.
The goal of the DHS Baroque Ensemble in 2019-2020 is to prepare to perform a repertoire of music from the baroque period in cities in England, Belgium, & France next summer, in addition to regular school and community performances using instruments of the type used during the baroque period. The European tour also provides an exciting opportunity for students & family to see major European cultural sites, to have the opportunity to speak ‘British’, French, and Flemish? Like the DHSBE tour in 2017, the tour next summer will be a formative experience, one to be cherished by students and families for years to come.
You can watch a performance of a Vivaldi concerto by the Davis Senior High School Baroque Ensemble on its 2017 Tour: