St Davids Cathedral Festival

The St. Davids Cathedral Festival has been responsible for bringing world class  music to the heart of West Wales for 40 years. The Festival takes place annually during the Spring Bank Holiday week at the end of May when the Cathedral hosts a feast of classical and contemporary music concerts under the artistic direction of Oliver Waterer, the Organist and Master of the Choristers.

 

The Province of West Wales has been sponsoring the event since 2005. Between 2005 and 2015 the Province donated £2500 per year and since 2015 we have donated £3000 per year, a total of £37,000 over the last 14 years.

 

Representatives of the Province attended the opening concert on Friday 24th May 2019. Classy Classics - a family-friendly event as the Festival Children’s Chorus joined amazing musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

 

"It was an outstanding evening and certainly evidence that our sponsorship of the Festival is truly well spent.

 

The ‘anchor’ of the performance was the children’s choir comprising 90 pupils mainly of primary school age but supported by the younger element of the Cathedral choristers. Secondly, there was an orchestral performance by about 40 children, again mainly of primary school age interspersed by a dozen or so players from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. For all these youngsters it must have been an unforgettable occasion to sing or play with such experienced and professional singers and players.

 

The concert opened with the children singing ‘Zadoc the Priest’' no less, accompanied by the BBC mini-orchestra and the wonderful Cathedral organ. They sang their hearts out and clearly enjoyed massively performing Handel. A deliberate choice calculated to give them a taste of music of a kind many of them would never otherwise hear.

 

There followed an extremely clever, amusing and specially commissioned mixture of verse and music incorporating bits of Lear, e.g. The Owl and the Pussycat and including specially written Limericks sending up life in Pembrokeshire and performed by the professionals for the benefit of the children. They also performed four excerpts from the well known classical repertoire - again with the express intention of stimulating interest in the children.

 

The evening rounded off with the children’s choir in full voice singing a cleverly adapted version of bits of several well known works.

 

The Cathedral was packed to capacity and the Masonic Charity was well acknowledged both in the Dean’s introduction to the evening and afterwards at the reception in the Deanery."

 

W Bro Gethin Lewis PJGD

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