THE ABBEY SCHOOL TEWKESBURY cd link
The Abbey School, Tewkesbury is
one of Britain's more recent choir schools having only
been founded in 1973. Since that day in 1973 it has
educated and trained the choristers who sing the daily
service in Tewkesbury Abbey. Tewkesbury Abbey is one
of England's Norman masterpieces and in 2002 celebrated
nine hundred years since the monks first arrived at
the Abbey. Renowned for its wonderful acoustics, it
is the Abbey that has been the principal performing
venue for the choir. However, over the last thirteen
years the choir has earned an international reputation
through its tours all over the world. Moscow has been
visited - where performances of Vivaldi's Gloria were
given, as has the United States of America on two occasions.
This is the choir's third American tour, and its most
extensive to date. In 1996, the choir was invited to
give performances of Handel's Messiah in the Flanders
International Early Music Festival which takes place
annually in Bruges. It was on the strength of a CD recording
that they were invited to Sweden in 1997. In 2001 the
choir gave performances in Paris with a French orchestra
and sang at High Mass in Notre-Dame Cathedral on Easter
Recording has been an important
part of the choir's work for some fifteen years. In
1989 a notable recording of the choral music of Thomas
Weelkes was released to critical acclaim. An invitation
to record christmas carols for 'Naxos' brought the choir
to a wider audience the world over - the disc was top
of the Swedish classical chants for a number of months.
In 2001 the choir recorded the second volume of 'Favourite
Hymns for all Seasons' for Guild Music and Volume 9
in the 'Complete New English Hymnal Series' for Priory
Records. Also in 2001 the choir was invited to record
a selection of Elgar's choral music for Japanese Television.
In June of last year the choir recorded 'Pater Noster'
for Priory Records.
2002 was a busy year for the choir.
In March they hosted the choristers from Bristol, Gloucester,
Hereford, Llandaff, Truro and Wells Cathedrals, Winchester
College and Magdalen College, Oxford as one hundred
and forty choristers competed in the 'Western Division
of Choir Schools Football Tournament' and sang Evensong
in the Abbey. The service included the first performance
of Mark Blatchly's O Quam Dilecta, commissioned especially
for the occasion. In May the choir joined with Worcester
Cathedral Choir and Chameleon Arts Brass to give a concert
celebrating the Abbey's 900th Anniversary and in June
the choir broadcast Choral Evensong live on Radio 3
and gave a concert in the chapel at the Houses of Parliament.