Members of the choir celebrated the significant birthdays of two of our number this evening at the end of the rehearsal. Judith and Mary both celebrate their 80th birthday and we marked the occasion with cake and wine. The Precentor was on hand to act as wine waiter and the ladies were presented with cards and potted orchids.
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.
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).
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.
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
OUR performance of Handel’s Israel in Egypt is now being held in memory of popular Lay Clerk Ian Bell who was due to take one of the solo roles.
Ian, who had been a friend and colleague of our Musical Director Stephen Shellard for nearly 25 years, had been battling a terminal illness for some time and had been expected to sing on Saturday, June 13.
However his health suddenly deteriorated and he died in St Richard’s Hospice at the end of April. His memorial service last month saw Worcester Cathedral packed in tribute with family, colleagues and friends from across the UK.
Ian’s part is now being sung by his long-time friend Steve Grice who joins fellow soloists Vicki Field, David Barclay, Tom Hunt, Sebastian Field and Kirsten Offer.
Dedicating the performance of this magnificent oratorio was the natural thing for us as Ian had often fulfilled the role of solo bass in many previous Chamber Choir concerts.
Stephen says: “On his move to St Richard’s Hospice Ian had asked me for a copy of the Handel so that he might begin to prepare for the performance. He also talked about making an appearance with the Cathedral Choir at Evensong before long. However, fate stepped in and denied us one last chance to hear his superb bass voice.
“It was a pleasure and privilege to have known and worked with him for all those years”
The Worcester Chamber Orchestra will be accompanying on period instruments and we are particularly pleased to be joined by Lichfield Cathedral Chamber Choir who are the second choir for the many exciting double choir choruses.
This is a rare chance to hear one of Handel’s most exciting oratorios – described as ‘fierce and fabulous’ when it appeared on The Times’ recent Hot 50 list of things critics would pay to see this summer – in the beautiful surroundings of Worcester Cathedral. The concert begins at 7.30pm and tickets cost £15 (students and under 18s, £5).
They are available from the cathedral shop, on 01386 860389 or via www.worcestercathedralchamberchoir.co.uk