2015 Fundraising Concerts
The First one is The Rochester Cathedral Memorial Concert taking place with the kind permission of Lord & Lady De L’Isle at Penhurst Place on Sunday 31st May 2015. We can offer such a full programme starting at 5pm with entry via the private entrance and an opportunity to walk around the beautiful summer gardens (it is “Glorious Gardens Week”). Then enjoy your “bring your own” picnic in the grounds at the front of the house before attending a concert in the majestic Baron’s Hall. We are very grateful to Christopher Thornton, who has arranged this concert in memory of music lovers now departed. Ticket price also includes wine and soft drinks during the interval.
Performers are The Medway String Quartet, The Royal Tunbridge Wells Orpheus Male Voice Choir and the Choral Scholars from Rochester Cathedral. Ticket price is £45 with Senior Concessions at £40.
The second is another fabulous concert with James Taylor and his Quartet. We are delighted that this seems to be turning into an annual event! So those Jazz funk fans, please do put this in the diary. Last year the cathedral was packed and people were dancing in the aisles! James lives in Rochester and holds the cathedral very close to his heart and has written a very special Mass for our Choir which is being performed for the first time in The Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in April, but will also be performed again here. Tickets £20.
The third concert this year is a very special “Aria's for Abigail” concert, hosted by Cheryl Baker on Friday 16th October. Performing will be The Kent Sinfonia Orchestra, a 45 piece orchestra of international acclaim; The Ruby Chorus Choir are a 40 piece choir based in Tenterden consisting of a mixture of professional and amateur singers who perform to very high standards under the musical direction of Ms Maxine Wilson; Faryl Smith, a British teen mezzo-soprano who rose to fame after appearing on the second series of the talent show Britain's Got Talent in 2008; the tenor Jonathan Ansell, one of the UK’s most admired young tenors. He has sold over 2 million albums and shot to fame on the first ever series of The X Factor in 2004 where he was part of pop-opera group G4, came second and went on to top the charts with 3 albums and four sell out tours. Jonathan has gone on to release three solo albums; Katie Marshall is 14 years old and at a very young age showed a talent for singing classical music. She has been having classical singing lessons since she was 6 years old and her voice coach is the opera singer Julie Unwin. Our host for the evening will be Cheryl Baker, famously a member of Bucks Fizz. This promises to be an amazing evening so do come along and join us for excellent entertainment and some flag waving! This concert is being co presented by Abigail’s Footsteps, a local charity set up by David and Jo Ward after the tragic still birth of their daughter Abigail. The profit from the nights show will be shared between Abigail’s Footsteps who are fundraising for a bereavement suite at Medway Hospital and The Rochester Cathedral Music Endowment.
Our final fund raising concert for the year will be the annual “Messiah and Carols for All” on Tuesday 8th December. This will be yet another opportunity to listen to this outstanding piece of music and listen to our own Rochester Cathedral Choir treat us to some fun carol singing. More details about this will follow later in the year.
Wow! What a year! Please contact the Development Office for further information and ticket pricing and availability.
MBE for Chairman Mike Aiken
HRH the Countess of Wessex
"Sophie, Countess of Wessex will do her bit to keep Rochester Cathedral standing. The Queen's daughter-in-law has become a Patron of The Rochester Cathedral Trust after a private tour last week.
The Charity was founded in 1985 and looks after the structure of the 900-year-old cathedral building, which is due its first major review in five years this summer. She will also be involved in a campaign to raise £10 million to help music in the cathedral, which includes encouraging gifted young people to join The Cathedral Choir who would not otherwise be able to. This in recognition that the Cathedral is in a socially diverse area and that a Choir School education gives a young person the best possible start in life.
The Dean of Rochester, The Very Revd Dr Mark Beach, said: "It's widening the net certainly." He added “The Countess will be a kind of figurehead for the fundraising for the cathedral, and in particular at the moment that’s about raising money for the music endowment.
“It’s about raising the profile of the cathedral. With a royal patron you can invite people to events with the additional draw that they might meet a member of the royal family.”
The 48-year-old royal, who is married to the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, was brought up and educated near Tunbridge Wells.
Dr Beach said: “She was fascinated by what’s going on in the building and was particularly interested because we’re a relatively small cathedral with relatively poor resources in an economically varied area.
“She felt her contribution might be more important perhaps than working with a larger cathedral in a more affluent area"."
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