A major concert in celebration of 1000 years of the Abbey of St Edmund.

Saturday 24 October 2020 at 7.30pm 

St Edmundsbury Cathedral

Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk



World première



Commissioned to celebrate 1,000th Anniversary of the Abbey of St Edmund


The English Arts Chorale

Eye Bach Choir

James Gilchrist, tenor*

Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra

Leslie Olive, conductor

*To be confirmed

A Commission for 1,000 years

A new work has been commissioned for the 1,000th anniversary of the Abbey of St Edmund. The idea for a commission was put forward by Leslie Olive, conductor of Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra, to the Music Committee for the 2020 celebrations, and Canon Matthew Vernon, Sub-Dean of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, suggested that the new work might be formed around texts associated with St Benedict, and composer Paul Carr has gladly taken that brief. He writes:

"Many thanks for this idea and for searching the Rule of Saint Benedict. I also have a copy, as well as Saint Benedict’s Prayer Book from Ampleforth Abbey. Your selection of extracts is very helpful, not least in giving me a sense of direction. I’m setting various quotations from Saint Benedict and linking them to Psalms and Prayers from the Prayer Book. The work will reflect the goodness, honesty, help and solace we can offer others through the teachings of Jesus with Saint Benedict's rule as a guide. It seems particularly relevant at this time of so much unease here in the UK and in the world as a whole."

Participation in this première is open to capable choral singers from across Suffolk. Singers who would like to take part must have excellent music-reading skills and attend the rehearsals of Eye Bach Choir on Friday nights from 4th September 2020 until the day of the concert (Saturday 24th October). 

Leslie Olive's English Arts Chorale has commissioned three previous works from Paul and singers and audiences have been delighted with the results. Paul's ethereal setting of the STABAT MATER, commissioned by The English Arts Chorale, premièred in Reigate and Cambridge, and recorded in the winter snows of 2018 in London, is available for download.

To read Paul Carr's Wikipedia entry, click 


Click the button to go to Youtube and see an extract from Paul Carr's STABAT MATER, performed by The English Arts Chorale and Orchestra conducted by Leslie Olive

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Some photography courtesy of Wandering River 

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