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date: 24 September 2020

Three Choirs Festivallocked

  • Watkins Shaw
  • , revised by John C. Phillips


An annual event, of six to eight days’ duration, substantially but not exclusively choral in character, based in turn in the cathedrals of Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford. Its precise origins are not documented. However, the Worcester Postman of 10 July 1713 records a special service at which was performed ‘Mr. Purcell’s great Te Deum, with the Symphonies and instrumental parts, on Violins and Hautboys’. Six years later, in August 1719, the same journal published a notice calling on ‘Members of the yearly Musical Assembly of these Parts … by their Subscription in September last at Gloucester … to meet at Worcester on Monday … in order to publick Performance, on the Tuesday and Wednesday following’. In 1920 official recognition was given to the year 1715 as that of the first ‘festival’, thus making the festival of 1977 the 250th festival in an annual series broken only by two world wars....

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