Royal Worcester – CD & concert dish up a majestic musical feast

Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir is to royally entertain the entire nation with the release of a majestic new CD.

Royal Worcester – A Celebration of Music for Royal Occasions, goes on UK release

after its official launch at a special concert in the city on Monday, July 24.

The regal occasion, in St Martin’s Church, London Road, will be a crowning moment of two appearances during Worcester’s Three Choirs week by the singers who come from across Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

The disc, recorded in Worcester Cathedral earlier this year, is the brainchild of the choir’s Musical Director Stephen Shellard who wanted highlight the building’s centuries of connection with Royalty.

“In the last year we have celebrated the life of King John, who was the catalyst for the celebrated Magna Carta and is buried at Worcester Cathedral, which is also the resting place of Prince Arthur whose death, at just 15, paved the way for his brother to inherit the throne as Henry VIII,” he explains.

“The CD’s title also reflects references the world-famous Worcester Porcelain factory which was granted the Royal Warrant in 1789 by George III.

“We are very grateful to the Portmeirion Group for allowing us to use Royal Worcester as  the disc’s title.”

The disc – and concert – features music spanning 500 years of royal ceremonies, ranging from the eternally popular Coronation favorites such as ‘Zadok the Priest’ by Handel  and ‘I Was Glad’ (Hubert Parry and Henry Purcell), to the lesser known but equally powerful ‘Behold O God Our Defender’ (Howells) and ‘O Hearken Thou’ (Elgar) as well as ‘Blest Pair of Sirens’ (Parry), which was sung at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Royal Worcester also features organ solos from Worcester Cathedral’s Assistant Director of Music Christopher Allsop and newly appointed Sub Assistant organist Richard Cook who joins the choir for the concert which is due to begin at 7.30pm.

It will be the second consecutive performance in two days for the Chamber Choir, which is also leading the Three Choirs Festival opening Evensong on Saturday, July 22nd at 5.30pm.

Concert tickets cost £10 (U16s half price) and are available from 01386 860389 and on the door.

Copies of the CD can be bought during the evening, from the Cathedral shop or ordered from the choir’s website. In the near future the CD will also will also be available for online streaming.

This is the first recording to be released under the Chamber Choir’s own Pink Giraffe label.  The name has been inspired by the pink giraffe depicted as being held by Adam in one of the medallions of the West Window which illustrates the Creation of Animal Life (see photo).

 

 

Stephen Shellard with the Royal Worcester CD

Stephen Shellard, Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir’s Musical Director next to King John’s tomb, with a copy of the new CD which is being launched in a concert in St Martin’s Church, Worcester, on June 24.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re looking for Tenors and Basses

Rick Wakeman wanted to perform with the county’s leading chamber choir, so did hit harmony group Blake – do you?

Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir currently has vacancies for tenors and basses so please get in touch if you would like to join us.

Auditions are required but – there’s no Simon Cowells here – we’re a very friendly bunch!

We’re a choir of about 30 singers, all working to a high standard of musical excellence and, under our founder and musical director Stephen Shellard, have gained a reputation for musical sensitivity and ground-breaking performance.

Much of our repertoire is drawn from the traditional Anglican Church Music heritage while our recording catalogue includes music by Elgar, Parry, Vaughan Williams and contemporary Australian composer Paul Paviour.

Our latest CD, featuring music for royal occasions, is due to be released in August 2017.

Apart from regular concerts as a member you will be expected to sing at Cathedral Eucharist and Evensong services several times a year, sometimes two or three times over one weekend, plus some other services.

We rehearse on Thursday evenings during term times and require an attendance level of at least 70% for any one project.

Any interested tenors or basses wishing to join us, please go to the contact section of this website where you can email our membership secretary.

jda-media-chamber-choir-photos-social-media-028

Two special concert guests

Our music director Stephen Shellard was delighted to welcome the Mayor of Worcester Councillor Paul Denham and his wife Lynn as our special guests to our concert I Was Glad, in Worcester’s St Martin’s Church on Saturday, October 15. It was the first time we had invited the city’s mayor and mayoress to one of our performances and their attendance was much appreciated by all of us.

 

14670601_1503119616371825_7353703913300755415_n

Flyer-ing high!

img_1180

We’re very proud of these new publicity flyers which we’re hoping will send our profile soaring.

Along with the atmospheric photograph, taken during one of our many Worcester Cathedral services, the leaflet gives our potted history and outlines our future performance plans.

It also lists our most recent recordings (available to buy here and through major online stores) and shows where we can be found on social media.

Copies are already available in Worcester’s Tourist Information Centre but we’re working hard on distributing them round and about the county.

Definitely worth reading all about us!

 

Concert makes us doubly glad

We’re not only feeling glad about our forthcoming concert – we have two special reasons to feel very cheerful indeed.

The first is because the evening ‘I Was Glad: A Celebration of English Music’ represents the first live showcase of the music we are due to record for our latest CD.

The second is because the Mayor and Mayoress of Worcester will be attending their first Cathedral Chamber Choir concert as our specially invited guests.

“We are delighted that Councillor Paul and Mrs Lynn Denham have accepted our invitation and are looking forward to giving them and everyone else a musical taste of what’s to come next year,” says our Music Director Stephen Shellard.

The CD “Royal Worcester”, and the concert programme, will include classics such as Zadok the Priest, Howells’s Behold Oh God Our Defender and, of course, I Was Glad – both Parry’s much-loved familiar version and the lesser known Purcell arrangement – and is due to be released at next year’s Worcester Three Choirs Festival.

The concert itself, in St Martin’s Church, London Road, Worcester, on

October 15, will also take on a slightly nautical flavour when we are joined by baritone William Thomas for Charles V Stanford’s Songs of the Fleet.

Conducted by Stephen and with accompaniment from Richard Cook, the evening promises to be a right royal musical feast. Tickets (£10/£5) are available on 01386 860389 or www.worcestercathedralchamberchoir.co.uk

 

img_1163

We are glad – October concert posters are out

The arrival of the posters and printers for our next concert have made us very glad indeed.
They herald our October 15 celebration of English music, a sparkling occasion which will also anticipate our forthcoming CD Royal Worcester.

With classics such as Zadok the Priest, Purcell’s Rejoice in the Lord Alway, Howells’s Behold Oh God Our Defender and, of course, I Was Glad – both Parry’s much-loved familiar version and the lesser known Purcell arrangement – the evening and CD are destined to be two crowning moments for Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir.

The concert will take on a slightly nautical flavour too when baritone William Thomas joins us to perform Charles V Stanford’s Songs of the Fleet.

Conducted by Stephen Shellard and with accompaniment from Richard Cook, the evening promises to be a right royal musical feast.

Venue: St Martin’s Church, London Road, WR5 2ED. 19.30pm. Tickets: £10/£5(under 16s & students). 01386 860389

I was Glad poster

Love Came Down at Christmas – concert

Break out the mince pies – we’re spreading the festive cheer in our forthcoming seasonal concert.

This time we’re swapping the Cathedral for Cradley, in Herefordshire. The village’s St James the Great church is the venue for a sparkling evening of seasonal music and readings.

Traditional carols, some new workings of old favourites and contemporary classics will all feature in our Sunday, December 13 performance.

Interspersed with Christmassy readings and an interval filled with seasonal refreshments, we’re sure the audience will leave feeling suitably festive!

The music 2015cradleymaking begins at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10 and £5 (students and under 16s) and are available on 01886 880402 or on the door.

Concert focuses on hope and remembrance

THE theme of Hope and Remembrance is very much behind Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir’s concert, taking place in St Martin’s Church on November 7.
Fauré’s Requiem, could not be more fitting for Remembrance Weekend, while JS Bach’s Jesu Meine Freude, containing passages from the scriptures which speak of Christ freeing man from sin and death, represents hope.
Both also offer some of the most sublime music.  Musical director Stephen Shellard conducts the choir, accompanied by Christopher Allsop on the organ.
The concert begins at 7.30pm and tickets (£10 or £5 to students and under 16s), are available on 01386 860389 or on the door.

All Souls’ Day Eucharist

There may be a concert to prepare for, but before that we have an important Worcester Cathedral duty to perform.
We will be taking part in the evening Requiem Eucharist for All Souls Day, November 2, which will involve some wonderful Plainsong and the Contakion of the Dead. The Preacher is Canon Dr Michael Brierley.
The service is always a rather wonderful and contemplative occasion which we all very much enjoy being a part of.
It begins at 7.30pm