Bob Chilcott at Edington

About seventy singers from far and wide gathered at the Priory Church on Saturday 20th June for a rare treat. Edington Arts had pulled off a coup and managed to persuade Bob Chilcott to come and give the singers a workshop on his recently-composed St John Passion.

The work was originally commissioned and composed in 2013 with the choir of Wells Cathedral in mind. They are a superlative choir, so there was quite some pressure on us as a “scratch” choir to come up to expectations! But Bob is the most generous and encouraging master and we all had a really glorious day. He guided us through the work, telling us some lovely stories and a bit about how he settled on the poems he included as hymns and mediations, revealing a deep love of the English Language and its power to impart emotion. There are some very emotional moments in the Passion, some very singable hymns – and it is always a huge privilege to be taught a work by its author.

We ended the day by giving the work as a performance with Chris Totney at the organ and four stunning soloists with burgeoning careers – Matthew Sandy as Evangelist, Daniel Tate as Jesus, Pilate was Michael Hickman and the soprano, Laurie Ashworth. It was a truly memorable and magical experience. One for the “memory bank”!

Edington Arts arranged things beautifully and always manage to create a lovely atmosphere. They have several more concerts planned this year, so do have a look at the Events page, follow the links to their site and join us at something if you can. We’ll look forward to seeing you.


Bob Chilcott flanked by the soloists, with singers from all over the country.

Front row from left: Chris Totney (organist); Matthew Sandy (Evangelist); Laurie Ashworth (soprano); Bob Chilcott; Daniel Tate (Jesus); Michael Hickman (Pilate)
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