The coming year is, surely, the most exciting in our history. In April we shall achieve a very significant milestone when we give our 1000th concert. Then we get a second chance to celebrate in the autumn when we’ll mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of Philomusica.
It’s going to be a really exciting year for us and we hope that you’ll join us to celebrate, either at these concerts or at one of the other concerts listed on our Where to hear us page
Our 1000th concert was given at Tewkesbury Abbey on 23 April and what a wonderful occasion it was.
Music by Sir Edward Elgar and John Rutter demonstrated the full depth and width of the choir's ability.
he opening of the concert with Elgar’s Prelude to his oratorio The Apostles, The spirit of the Lord is upon me set the scene for what was to come. A perfomance full of light and shade and depth of emotion clearly showed how aligned to Elgar's music the choir and orchestra was. This lead into a masterful depiction of The Music Makers with soloist, Karen Longmate, in excellent voice showing her complete understanding of, and commitment to, the role.
This was followed by the prsentation of the Elgar Society Certificate of Merit by Society Vice-Chairman, Stuart Freed.
Under Linda’s conductorship the choir has expanded its repertoire by performing music by living British composers: that the choir loves this trend was shown clearly by the performances of John Rutter’s The Lord is my Shepherd & Feel the Spirit.
Feel the Spirit is a set of colourful and exciting arrangements of African-American Spirituals. The choir has sung them in the UK and on some of the overseas trips and audiences love them. This was the first time Philomusica had performed them with orchestra and, with Gaye Boggon as the outstanding soloist, they brought the house down.
Some lighter summer concerts now, celebrating Shakespeare, and then on to the 50th Anniversary Concert.
We’ll be back in Tewkesbury Abbey on 19 November for our 50th Anniversary Concert. There’s much more English music – and the Irish composer, Stanford will also be represented. We’ll perform great pieces by Parry and Elgar. Linda’s commitment to encouraging young musicians will be represented when we are joined by the wonderfully gifted young violinist, Hannah Brooks-Hughes. She will be the soloist in Vaughan Williams’s exquisite The Lark Ascending. And there’ll be more pieces by living composers: an excerpt from Bob Chilcott’s lovely Requiem and an exciting anthem, Awake, Awake! The World is Young by Worcester-based composer, Ian Venables.
If you’re interested in joining Philomusica Linda would be very keen to hear from you - especially if you’re a bass. As she says: “There are no auditions. Instead we have a trial period of a month which gives new recruits the chance to see if they like the Philomusica experience: almost without exception they do.” For more information call Linda on 01684 850426
We have weekly rehearsals in Worcester and Gloucester – members attend whichever one is most convenient for them on a weekly basis.
Worcester rehearsals are at Bromyard Road Methodist Church, St. John’s, Worcester, WR2 5DL on Thursday evenings at 19.30.
Gloucester rehearsals take place at The Milestone School, Longford Lane, Gloucester GL2 9EU on Friday evenings at 19.30
We were thrilled and greatly honoured when a few months ago we were informed that the Elgar Society had awarded us their Certificate of Merit in recognition of our longstanding commitment to Elgar’s music. The Certificate will be presented to us formally at our 1000th concert at which, happily, we’d already decided to feature Elgar’s music.
Click on the Elgar Society medal to see other people and organisations honoured by the Society