First World War commemoration has double the power thanks to combined forces

We’re travelling to Lichfield Cathedral this month to revisit old friends and perform an evocative musical commemoration of the centenary since the end of the First World War.

It’s going to be doubly powerful when we combine our voices with Lichfield Cathedral Chamber Choir for a performance of Haydn’s Missa in Tempore Belli.

This is the second time we have sung together.  Three years ago, Lichfield joined us on our cathedral concert platform to sing Handel’s oratorio, Israel in Egypt; an evening that was met with great acclaim and which proved an experience our Musical Directors have been eager to repeat ever since.

Martyn Rawles, Lichfield’s Musical Director who will be conducting the June 23 performance, says:  “We are hugely looking forward to welcoming Worcester’s wonderful Cathedral Chamber Choir to Lichfield in what promises to be a very moving evening’s music-making as part of Lichfield Cathedral’s programme of events to mark the centenary of the Armistice. Singing with our colleagues in Worcester three years ago was a very exciting occasion, and I know that combining the choirs again for one of Haydn’s final masterpieces will be a thrilling experience for performers and audience alike.”

Our founder and Musical Director Stephen Shellard agrees, adding: “We really enjoyed welcoming Martyn and his choir to our cathedral, and the memory of conducting our massed forces, and the success of that night is still vivid for me.  

We always said we would make the return trip to Lichfield and it’s just a shame that it’s taken us three years to organise it!”

Haydn’s piece, written soon after the French Revolution at a time when his native Austria was threatened with invasion, will take up the second half of the concert.

The first half, due to begin at 7.30pm, will see Lichfield Cathedral Chamber Choir, accompanied by the Darwin Ensemble Chamber Orchestra, perform Gerald Finzi’s Requiem da Camera, a setting of First World War poems reflecting on the inevitable changes to English home life brought about by war.  

The soloists are Penelope Appleyard, Kate Symonds-Joy, Hugo Hymas and Andrew Randall.  

Tickets cost £15 (front of nave) and £13 (rear and side aisles) and are available from the Cathedral Bookshop, telephone 01543 306150.

Israel in Egypt concert

Worcester and Lichfield Cathedral Chamber Choirs in concert