If you would like to come and see the work in progress, please come along to The Old Carpentry Workshop, Prinknash Abbey (GL4 8EX) on Saturday October 8th between 12pm and 4pm. Follow the signs to the Incense department.
After the excitement of our 1000th concert in April we shall be preparing for another milestone concert when rehearsals resume in September.
We’re giving our 50th anniversary concert in Tewkesbury Abbey on Saturday 19 November.
The programme will comprise British music. The featured composers will include Bob Chilcott, Elgar, Parry and Stanford. We’re also going to sing Awake! Awake! The World is Young by the well-known Worcester-based composer, Ian Venables. We’re delighted that our guest soloist will be the highly-regarded young violinist, Hannah Brooks-Hughes; she’ll play the much-loved The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams. It should be quite a night!
We have received messages of greeting from a number of leading musicians, including several of the prominent composers whose music we have sung in recent years
From our President, John Mitchinson, the distinguished tenor and singing teacher
A happy 50th anniversary to Philomusica! What a year also to be handed the Elgar Society award.
As President I have attended many of your concerts and, of course, I’ve also had the pleasure of singing with you as a guest soloist on several occasions. My thoughts are always: Am I really hearing an all-amateur choir? The performances are never less than exciting although the repertoire is usually demanding. The soloists are all members of the choir and all praise to the membership and to Linda Parsons for the excellent standard of your performances. My congratulations also to all the members whose work behind the scenes keeps this busy choir running smoothly
May Philomusica go forward for many, many years.
With all good wishes, Mitch
From our Vice President, Roderick Williams, the internationally acclaimed baritone
Many congratulations to Linda and Philomusica on achieving its fiftieth anniversary. This unique and very special group of music lovers deserves to be celebrated with great fanfare. While I am disappointed that I could not be with you to share the occasion, at least I share a birthday with Philomusica so I will be raising a toast to the choir. Best wishes for a stupendous concert of glorious English choral classics and I’m sure you’ll bring the house down.
With best wishes, Roddy
From the composer, Andrew Carter
I send the warmest of greetings to Linda and the singers of Philomusica on the occasion of your Fiftieth Birthday. And I am especially grateful that, along the way, you have honoured me by performing my Laudate Dominum cantata. I am sure that you will continue to go from strength to strength and wish you all success into your next half century.
From the composer, Bob Chilcott
Congratulations to Philomusica on 50 fantastic years of singing together. My very best wishes go to all your singers and to Linda for a hugely enjoyable season of great music-making.
From the composer, John Rutter
One of the nicest aspects of being a composer is to discover, from time to time, that you have champions and friends you never knew about, and I’m delighted to have been told about a whole group of them in Linda Parsons and the Philomusica of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire. Thank you for featuring my music over the years in your concerts, and congratulations on your 50th anniversary. Do be sure to let me know about the 100th . . .
From the composer, Ian Venables
Philomusica’s innovative programming of British mainstream and contemporary choral music has been the hallmark of their continued success. The driving force behind this success has been their inspired conductor, Linda Parsons. On the Society's 50th anniversary I would like to pay tribute to her and the choir and to add my own thanks to everyone involved in the performance of Awake, awake, the world is young.
From the composer, Jonathan Willcocks
Congratulations to Philomusica on the occasion of your 50th anniversary concert. I have treasured my association with such a lovely group of singers, and under Linda's inspiring leadership your commitment to performing music by living composers is wonderful. We are all so grateful! Bravo, and best wishes for the next 50 years.
Twelve year old Hannah began studying violin when she was 4½, and piano a year later. She performed her first violin concerto at the age of 8 with the Glevum Symphony Orchestra, and has already given many solo recitals. A Major Music & Academic Scholar at the Cheltenham Ladies College, she was originally taught violin by Robert Bishop of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. She is now under the tuition of Matthew Denton of the ‘Carducci Quartet’ & the international acclaimed soloist Tasmin Little.
By the age of nine Hannah had already passed all of the eight ABRSM Violin exams with distinction, along with five piano exams, and five singing, also with distinctions. Hannah is currently a Leader of the ‘National Children’s Orchestra’, and is three times a recipient of their prestigious ‘Leverhulme Scholarship’. Under the tuition of Sara Harris Hannah was awarded the ABRSM 'Sheila Mossman Memorial Prize' in April 2015 for receiving the highest mark in the country in her Grade 6 piano exam.
Hannah was a semi-finalist at the Gregynog Young Musician 2016 Competition, competing alongside category winners & finalists of the BBC Young Musician Competition. She also became the youngest ever winner of the Two Moors International Festival 'Young Musician Competition’ in 2014.
Hannah is in great demand as a soloist and returned to the Two Moors Festival late last year becoming the events youngest ever soloist, performing in a festival which featured such stars as Sarah Connolly, Imogen Cooper, and Alina Ibragimova. In October 2015 Hannah performed a Vivaldi Concerto alongside Nicola Benedetti at the Birmingham Symphony Hall when Nicola invited a small ensemble to perform with her, asking Hannah to play the solo part to a capacity audience. At the end of 2015 Hannah also appear at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham in a Rotary Club ‘Last Night of the Proms’ event where she performed Vivaldi’s ‘Summer’ from the ‘Four Seasons’.
Hannah plays a 1760 violin by the Mantua master luthier Tommaso Balestrieri which is generously loaned to her by Florian Leonhard Fine Violins of London. She is also generously supported by Avonside Group Services & Brimpsfield Music Society.
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 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 was 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