Festival Chorus

Born 1234

The early ‘Three Choirs Festival’ had no Festival Chorus, but was a celebration of the music-making of the three cathedral choirs of Gloucester, Hereford & Worcester. The necessity for a larger chorus probably coincided with early performances of Handel’s Messiah (first given at Three Choirs in Gloucester in 1757), and the then growing oratorio repertoire by Handel, his contemporaries and successors (Mendelssohn and Haydn in particular). In 1850, the advertisements for the Gloucester Festival proudly boasted a “ Chorus” comprising “nearly three hundred performers, selected with care from the Choral Societies and Choirs of Exeter Hall, Bristol, Norwich, Windsor, Worcester, Hereford, etc.” Such visiting singers continued to swell the ranks of the Festival Chorus until the late nineteenth century, many of them travelling a circuit of the major music festivals each year.

Today, the Festival Chorus is made up of auditioned amateur singers from the three cities of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester who supplement the 3 cathedral choirs. The chorus is convened some months prior to the Festival, and is typically made up of half ‘home’ singers, and half ‘away’. Most choral societies will spend a term learning music for one concert: the Festival chorus has marginally more than that to learn music for up to six concerts. It is an immensely hard-working group, and consistently performs to a very high standard.

Related events:
Opening Service
Saturday 26 July 2014
Britten War Requiem
Saturday 26 July 2014
Dvořák Stabat Mater
Sunday 27 July 2014
Mahler Symphony No 2 'Resurrection'
Monday 28 July 2014
Romantic Heroes
Wednesday 30 July 2014
Reflections of 1914
Thursday 31 July 2014
Elgar The Apostles
Friday 01 August 2014
Best of British: Festival Finale
Saturday 02 August 2014