News Corner

For news and in-depth articles on the festival, its history, and more...


50 Years with the Festival Chorus

In this recent interview for our Society Spotlight magazine, Martin Loveless recounts his experiences of the festival from his first performance in the festival chorus in 1963 up to 2018.








The Three Choirs Festival is looking for an outgoing, tenacious volunteer to help us sell advertising space in our booking brochure and festival programme.  We aim to recoup the costs of printing these through ad sales, mainly targeting businesses in the city and surrounding area.  You’ll liaise with the Three Choirs Marketing Manager to work to existing print deadlines, and the Development Manager to keep track of sponsor advertising and pass on any potential leads.  The city committee will also support you by making suggestions and sharing their own contacts.

You’ll be provided with all the information you’ll need, such as advertising rates and artwork dimensions, and our Marketing Manager will be on hand to supervise your work and answer any queries. You’ll need to have plenty of free time during normal business hours, as well as good current knowledge of Hereford and its businesses.  It would be an advantage if you have experience in sales.  

This is a voluntary role, but we can cover legitimate out of pocket expenses you incur in the course of your work for the festival, and there will be further opportunities to get involved behind-the-scenes at the festival next year (28 July – 4 August 2018).

For more information, please contact our Marketing Manager, Phoebe Walsh (, 01452 768935/07913 605268) 




Discover the Festival Reviews!


"Worcester's turn to host the choral extravaganza"
N°1 of this week's best UK classical concerts
The Guardian

N°1 of the "things to do in the Cotswolds this week"
Costwolds Life

"Wonderful week for the city"
Redditch Advertiser

“The festival overall has been organised superbly, hats off to the team – and Break A Leg can't wait to support this marvellous event again.”
Break A Leg


"Incredible Tippett at the @3choirs
Festval with our Orchestra on Tour, The @philharmonia. Just stunning." –
at Worcester Cathedral
Classic FM via Twitter

"I have not had the privilege of hearing
the chorus before but they are the jewel in the crown
of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire."
Break A Leg about Mendelssohn's St Paul

"Joyous Mendelssohn from @3choirs Chorus & @philharmonia!
If you're somewhere near Worcester,
make sure you catch a concert at the festival!"
Classic FM via Instagram


"Embodying the voice of the sole surviving officer of a World War II naval accident, Soanes brought tension and drama to his account of the dramatic splitting of a ship into two halves, with great loss of life. His timing of the narrative episodes in this complexly structured work was flawless.”
Claire Seymour, Seen and Heard International about Opus Anglicanum and Zeb Soanes


“The ability of the singers to pitch their notes – often within extremely challenging circumstances, and with such accuracy and surety of technique - was truly magical.”
"[...] the plainsong In Paradisum, made for a beautiful, highly apt conclusion to this excellent sequence of words and music."
Five Star *****
David & Paul Gray


"The virtuosity involved in the organ part was clearly manifest and exciting to watch."
"This was superb playing by the Philharmonia, complete with the addition of piano with two players, a remarkably innovative instrumentation and, of course, the organ. A fine performance of a much-loved work: a great rejoicing in the sheer beauty of sound in the magnificent acoustic heights and spaces of Worcester Cathedral.”
­­­Four Stars ****
Paul Naylor-Gray


"Afterwards, [HRH the Prince of Wales] complimented organisers on the "excellence of the performance" on Tuesday evening (July 25)."
Worcester News about HRH the Prince of Wales
attending the concert The Dream of Gerontius

"after hearing the concert, my reaction was: Wow. Just wow!"
Katherine Crosier, Another Year of Insanity about The Dream of Gerontius concert


"There’s something very special about hearing The Dream of Gerontius in Worcester Cathedral during the Three Choirs Festival. “There is music in the air”, said Elgar: and when the very stones of the Cathedral seem to vibrate, as they did tonight when the organ held a deep, quiet pedal-note at the end of Part One, you can almost sense Sir Edward’s invisible presence."
Richard Bratby, Birmingham Post, about The Dream of Gerontius


“Where better to hear Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius than at the Three Choirs Festival?”
“a moving and subtle performance”
“space for the soloists to shine, which they certainly did.”
Four Stars ****
The Telegraph

"music of emotional power from Richard Strauss and Torsten Rasch juxtaposed with the raw, life-affirming glories of Janáček."
Classical Source about the Glagolitic Mass concert

"[The last song Monologue from A Welsh Night is] a beautiful and deeply felt song and I thought the orchestral scoring was exquisite."
"Hats off to the Three Choirs Festival Chorus!"

John Quinn, Seen and Heard International about the Glagolitic Mass concert 


"ninety years on from that first performance Janáček's Glagolitic Mass has clearly lost absolutely none of its weird but undeniable power"
Simon Cummings, Backtrack


"Adrian Partington conducted with great sensitivity, giving his singers every encouragement and drawing a fine performance from them."
John Quinn, Seen and Heard International about There Was a Child concert

"The vocal line and piano accompaniment brilliantly captured the sounds – and distinctive cheekiness - of all manner of birds in McCall Smith's delightful poems, ranging from the exotic, and sometimes ‘murderous…psychopathic', to the common cuckoo and strutting cock & hens. Delightful."
"This was one of the great highlights of festival week."
Five Stars *****
Paul Naylor-Gray about Kitty Whately concert


"The Gloria's closing fugue (Cum sancto spiritu) was mesmerisingly impressive; as with all Mozart's fugues it loves the sound of its own counterpoint, though when the results are as rousing as this, who's to complain?" - about Mozart's Great Mass
"The music was superbly delivered by the Philharmonia, galvanised by Adrian Partington's direction." - about Shostakovich's Symphony 'The Year 1917'
Simon Cummings, Backtrack


"An Impressive Conclusion to the 2017 Three Choirs Festival"
John Quinn, Seen and Heard International 







It's just a bit less than a month till the Festival begins, so we've been catching up with our Artistic Directors to find out what they love about some of the concerts in this year's Festival. Beginning with Worcester's own Artistic Director, Peter Nardone, here's what he had to say about some of July's events...


My Opening Night: A Child of Our Time

"Three Choirs Festival programme planning begins years before the event and I've known since 2014 that I wanted the opening night to be Tippett’s A child of Our Time.
At that point I was unaware that Tippett - a confirmed pacifist - had begun writing his oratorio on 3 September 1939: the day that Britain declared war on Germany. His great oratorio was a direct response to both fascism and the European disunity of the time. Contained within the libretto are the words 'Away with them! Curse them! They infect the state! We cannot have them in our empire. They shall not work nor draw a dole. Let them starve in No-Man’s-Land!'
I listen to A Child of Our Time as a reminder of those things which unite us. Yet in spite of this powerful attack on racial prejudice, bigotry and xenophobia, it seems we might have been complacent in ignoring its warnings and we find ourselves again in uncertain times. An Artistic Director rarely issues political statements in his line of work, but I highlight this context by way of encouraging you to come and hear Tippett’s masterpiece in Worcester. Seize the opportunity and judge the works conclusions for yourself."

A Child of Our Time features alongside Elgar's Great is the Lord and Britten's Four Sea

Interludes from Peter Grimes Saturday 22 July, 7.45pm 

Our Three Choirs family...

On Tuesday 25 July, the Three Cathedral Choirs perform two Baroque works dedicated to Cecilia, patron saint of musicians.

"For me the most engaging ingredient to each of the Saint Cecilia odes by Purcell and Handel is the way in which the composers deal with the musical instruments in turn. Using chorus, articulation and subtlety of phrase, they animate for the listener the spirit of the instrument in question.
As I counter-tenor myself I frequently recall a tale of the early music revival performance many years ago where, in the Purcell ode, the male alto struck up with the line '‘tis nature’s voice'. Another voice from the audience responded with 'Oh no it isn’t!'"



...and an old friend

"It is such a joy to welcome back David Hurley to the Festival. In recent years, he has appeared in Worcester with the Kings Singers but this time comes as a song recitalist. Our friendship pre-dates all of this by years. I have vivid memories of hysterical laughter shared in a hotel in Northumberland when David and I were both recording for the Gabrieli Consort's A Venetian Coronation at Brinkburn Priory in the ‘80s. David and I were placed on the stratospherically high alto lines (reserved for castrati in the olden days).
Whilst I found this quite a struggle, David seemed to have little problem scaling the heights. I have no immediate answer to why he finds these notes so easy but I would certainly encourage all to come and hear this wonderful musician exhibiting his fabulous voice."

David Hurley sings on Saturday 22 July at Huntingdon Hall






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 Gerontius and  Dream Catcher:  Passing the  Baton

 Discover how the precious legacy  of Elgar's work inspired pupils  from Ledbury and Eastnor Primary Schools and Franche Community Primary School in Kidderminster. They will perform the poems they have made into songs as part of a partnership project between the Ledbury Poetry Festival and the Three Choirs Festival.


 'Speak through  the earthquake,  wind and fire'

 Discover the beautiful words of  Rich Arenschieldt, Chairman of   the American Friends of the   Three  Choirs Festival. A  harrowing article  describing the uniqueness of our beloved festival.

"And yet, festival week is more than music"