This week Worcester has hosted The Three Choirs Festival, and as Mayor I am lucky enough to attend at least one of the main concerts that are held in the Cathedral. On Tuesday the Mayoress and I were invited to the Three Choirs Festival reception which was held at the Michael Barker Boathouse which belongs to the King’s School. I was able to meet Dr Alexis Paterson, who is the Chief Executive of the Three Choirs Festival, and Ben Cooper, chair of the Worcester Festival Committee.
With the uncertainty over Covid restrictions it has been a challenge for the organisers to put on a high-quality programme of events, which they have certainly met.
Tuesday’s concert featured the festival commission premiere of The World Imagined, which sets four different poems to a music score composed by Gabriel Jackson, whom I met both before and after the performance. The first half of the same concert included a performance of Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Solemn Prelude, which were debuted at a Three Choirs Festival concert in Worcester Cathedral back in 1899.
After the concert I spoke to some of the audience members, including one couple who come every time from their home in Stone in Staffordshire on their canal boat and stay in Worcester (or Gloucester) for a few days to attend the Three Choirs Festival.
Earlier on Tuesday I attended the launch of the Mount Battenhall Retirement Village. This development of the former St. Mary’s Convent School is very impressive and Neil Davison, Managing Director of Enterprise Retirement Living, showed myself and the Mayoress around. The retirement village, which has an impressive array of facilities, will create new job opportunities.