The Three Choirs Festival is a week-long programme of world-class music making, featuring choral and orchestral concerts, solo and chamber music recitals, talks, cathedral services, theatre, exhibitions, and walks, rotating each summer between the beautiful English cathedral cities of Gloucester, Hereford, and Worcester. One of the elements which makes the festival so special is the Festival Chorus, which is made up of auditioned singers from the local area trained by professional directors, meaning that the Chorus both sings to a high standard and is a real part of the community. Three Choirs is thought to be the longest-standing classical music festival in the world and celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2015.
"A beacon for music making in our region"
At the heart of the festival are large-scale evening concerts featuring the Festival Chorus and the Philharmonia Orchestra (resident at the festival since 2012). Concert programmes feature internationally recognised soloists and combine favourites of the classical choral tradition with the best new music of our time. The Three Choirs Festival Youth Choir performs a major cathedral concert with the Philharmonia Orchestra every year, giving a unique opportunity to young singers in our region to rehearse and perform to a high standard with expert direction.
The festival’s packed daytime schedule is enhanced by family events and community projects bespoke to each city. One of our core aims is to create musical experiences and opportunities that do not ordinarily exist in our region, and we hope to show through our events that classical music is something which is open to all and ensure that future generations will grow up loving music and making it a part of their lives. The 2022 festival will include a project with author and illustrator James Mayhew exploring music and storytelling with Hereford community groups, and a schools’ programme with saxophonist Amy Dickson to support good breathing and wellbeing.
"The music brought me here, but the people keep me coming back"
The central and vital role played by our volunteers gives the Three Choirs Festival a character and an atmosphere like none other. It is widely recognised for its friendly welcome, its historic appeal, and the clear sense that, perhaps more than any other classical festival, it truly belongs to its audience.