Tewkesbury Abbey was filled to capacity for a magnificent summer concert thanks to four amazing conductors, three brilliant choirs a great soloist in James Gilchrist and our superb GSO.
The powerful work ‘An Unknown Soldier’ by Jonathan Dove moved many to tears and was a fitting tribute on Armed Forces Day. Ben Sawyer’s conducting was outstanding.
GSO’s complex peformance of Vaughan Williams’ hauntingly beautiful ‘Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis’ stretched conductor Glyn Oxleyto the limit – with two orchestras and a choir in different parts of the Abbey to keep control of!
Next came the Oriel Singers’ chance to shine singing a breathtaking new work ‘Stabat Mater’ by composer Alissa Firsova, who also attended the concert.
Rachel Bowen’s Cheltenham Youth Choir brought lightness and laughter along with lovely young voices and the St Cecilia Singers under Jonathan Hope’s capable baton produced a selection of home-grown Hubert Parry songs marking his centenary in style.
Thanks to our great sponsors Anne Cadbury and the Cadbury Foundation and to Patrick Daly and the Brimpsfield Music Society. Also to Mikal Ludlow for his great pictures.
Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra is busy rehearsing for its most ambitious concert to date featuring three county choirs and celebrated tenor James Gilchrist for a major commemoration of the centenary of the First World War at Tewkesbury Abbey on Saturday June 30th.
With more than 150 voices and orchestral players, under the baton of Glyn Oxley and four other conductors, this project will perform a new work entitled ‘For an Unknown Soldier’ by Jonathan Dove. The lyrics are based on poems by the Great War Poets, including Gloucestershire’s Ivor Gurney.
The first half of the concert will showcase the orchestra performing Ralph Vaugh Williams’ ‘Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis’ followed by performances of Hubert Parry’s ‘Songs of Farewell’ sung by the St Cecilia Singers under conductor Jonathan Hope. Modern composer Alissa Firsova’s ‘Stabat Mater’ will be sung by The Oriel Singers under Ben Sawyer’s baton. While young singers from Cheltenham Youth Choir will be singing Jonathan Dove’s ‘Friday Afternoon’ songs under Rachel Bowen’s direction.
Tickets priced £15 adults and free for under-18s are available online at saintceciliasingers.org.uk or by ringing 01684 856148; they can also be obtained from Tourist Information Centre across the county and on the door.