Wells Cathedral Choir to premiere two new works

Wells Cathedral Choir to premiere two new works

Wells Cathedral Choir, directed by Alexander Hamilton, will premiere Joanna Marsh’s A Garland of Praise and Lucy Walker’s Love flows, two new works commissioned by Cathedral Commissions, at special services on Saturday 15 June and Sunday 16 June 2024.

Alexander Hamilton, Acting Director of Music, writes:

“I was delighted that leading composers Joanna Marsh and Lucy Walker agreed to write new works for the Cathedral Choir to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Girl Choristers and the Installation of the new Dean of Wells respectively. Dean-Designate Toby Wright proposed a text by the 13th century mystic Mechthild of Magdeburg for his installation service, and Joanna Marsh – by complete coincidence – suggested a text by the same author, and so it seemed destined to be. For our Sound of Wells Festival in May 2024, I asked Upper Sixth Student at Wells Cathedral School Eva Donoghue to compose a new anthem for choir and saxophone. It seemed obvious therefore for Eva to use another Mechthild text ‘Then I shall leap into love’ for her new piece, creating a Wells triptych of works by female composers inspired by this visionary writer. It will be a huge pleasure to welcome both Joanna and Lucy to Wells this weekend to hear the first performances of their new works, and to meet our generous Cathedral Commissions patrons.”

Toby Wright, Dean-Designate of Wells, writes:

“Ever since my teenage years, I have been inspired by the mystics of our Christian tradition. Mechthild of Magdeburg was a Christian medieval mystic in the 13th century, who described herself as an ‘unruly woman of God’.  Her text The Flowing Light of the Godhead draws on the feminine to inspire us to find a deeper union with God through a vivid expression which still resonates for so many today. I have so enjoyed the process of engaging with composer Lucy Walker as this new work has come to life; it will be terrific to hear the finished result on Sunday. Cathedral Commissions enables us to continue refreshing our precious and living choral tradition at Wells with new music, and I look forward to hearing so many more new works over the coming years.”

The new Dean of Wells will be installed during the service on Sunday 16 June. This is a ticketed event however it will be possible to hear these works again at a later date.


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