Abbey welcomes return of Harrogate Festival Chorus

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Ampleforth Abbey will welcome the return of Harrogate Festival Chorus, whose annual concert in Ryedale will feature Paul Carr’s major recent composition Seven Last Words from the Cross.

It promises to be an entertaining evening on Thursday August 27, featuring HFC together with Opera North’s outstanding baritone, Paul Gibson and the Harrogate Festival Orchestra comprising strings, organ, harp and percussion – all-in-all set to sound wonderful in the fine acoustic of the Abbey Church at Ampleforth.

John Dunford, a conductor and soloist at previous HFC concerts, will play the abbey’s organ and the composer Paul Carr will himself be present.

Paul said: “I am delighted that Seven Last Words from the Cross will receive its northern premiere in the wonderful setting of Ampleforth Abbey Church, and I am particularly pleased that I will be sharing the occasion with HFC and its conductor, Thom Meredith – I am sure it will be a truly moving occasion.”

Also on the programme is Mozart’s Vespere solonelle de confessore, K339, which includes the familiar and beautiful Laudate Dominum and Sarah Ogden, Kate Woodruff and Chris Pulleyn will join Paul Gibson as soloists for this work.

This is HFC’s fourth visit to Ampleforth and Lynn Hudson, one of the course directors, said: “We are delighted to be returning to Ryedale for our annual choral course; we are always made to feel so at home.

“This year we have attracted a significant number of new singers and this is due in no small part to the wonderful welcome we are given by the abbey and the residents of Ryedale.”

Tickets, priced £15 (£12 concessions), are available on the door or in advance from Elijah Todd Newsagents, Helmsley and from Summit Bakery, Kirkbymoorside.

l Harrogate Festival Choral Course was formed in 2008, initially to meet demand expressed by singers and musicians for a summer course in Yorkshire.

Since then it has grown in stature and scope, and today members come together annually for the annual Choral Course in August.

While many of the singers are local to Yorkshire, members of choral societies and choirs in Ripon, Harrogate, Wetherby, Leeds and Bradford; others come from as far afield as the south coast.