A Remembrance tribute in words and music in Worcester

A Remembrance tribute in words and music is being hosted in Worcester, almost exactly 100 years to the day of the 1918 armistice.

The central part of the evening will be a performance of a new chamber ensemble arrangement of Fauré’s Requiem, featuring violin, cello, harp and organ.

The readings will be given by Gabrielle Bullock and Stephen Shellard will conduct the Worcester Cathedral Chamber Choir, which is also marking a special musical milestone.

The concert, on November 10 at 7.30pm, is the first in its 20th anniversary season, a year in which a gala dinner, a performance of Brahms German Requiem, featuring the composer’s arrangement for two piano accompaniment, and an anniversary cathedral Evensong and reception are planned.

Celebrations for this special year have been in the pipeline for some time but were originally completely unforeseen when, in 1998, then lay clerk Stephen Shellard outlined his dream to lead and conduct his own choir to Worcester Cathedral’s Chapter.

“I wanted to gather together the best amateur singers from across the Worcestershire diocese and beyond to form the first male and female choir to sing in the cathedral in its 900-plus years, but I never envisioned that it would be here 20 years later and such a successful and established part of the Cathedral and Worcester’s musical life,” reflects Stephen, now Senior Lay Clerk, 

The ensuing years have seen the choir expand from singing at traditional services to successful concerts, acclaimed CD recordings, touring ventures and even backing Brit Award-winning trio Blake and rock legend Rick Wakeman.

There have been visits to Dublin, a key musical role in 2013’s Christmas and Easter’s Gloucester and Worcester Cathedrals’ Mystery Plays and a 2007 appearance in the live TV Christmas Eve Midnight Mass, clips from which have, to date, notched up more than 67,000 views on YouTube.

Tickets for the Remembrance concert ( £12, under 16s half price), are available on 01386 860389 and at the door. For more information, go to www.worcestercathedralchamberchoir.co.uk. You can also find the choir on Facebook, Google + Instagram and Twitter (@WCCC2).

Sarah Dawes