Choral workshop set to take place in Axminster

Michael Graham. Picture: Contributed

Michael Graham. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

Choral singers have the chance to perform the Dream of Gerontius at an event in Axminster

Axminster and District Choral Society will host a choral workshop at the Minster Church in Axminster.

Amateur choral singers from across the region will come together to spend a day exploring a major choral work and present a short performance.

Andrew Millington, former director of music at Exeter Cathedral and recently elected president of the society, has chosen Edward Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius to rehearse during the morning and afternoon sessions.

This work is widely regarded as Elgar’s finest choral composition.

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According to the Grove Dictionary it is ‘one of his three or four finest works’, and the authors of The Record Guide, writing in 1956 when Elgar’s music was comparatively neglected, said: “Anyone who doubts the fact of Elgar’s genius should take the first opportunity of hearing The Dream of Gerontius, which remains his masterpiece”.

In the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Michael Kennedy writes: “The work has become as popular with British choral societies as Messiah and Elijah, Many regard it as Elgar’s masterpiece. ... It is unquestionably the greatest British work in the oratorio form.”

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The event takes place on Saturday, October 14, and the performance will take place at 4.10pm, when the assembled choir will be joined by well-known local soloists Julie De’Ath-Lancaster and Michael Graham.

Julie teaches singing at Exeter University and directs the Sheldon Singers .

Michael, 25, who is much in demand as a tenor soloist, is making a welcome return to Axminster following his superb performance in Handel’s Alexander’s Feast last November.

Michael is also organist and Lay-Clerk at Exeter Cathedral and director of music for Exeter University Chapel Choir.

He directs the Budleigh Salterton Male Voice Choir.

Admission for audience for the performance will be free but donations to the society’s funds will be welcome.

Tickets to take part in the whole day event are £15. (ADCS members £10).

For full details and application forms contact: or 01404 881838 or can also download a booking form from the website

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