A royal composer and his choir are performing at St Asaph Cathedral as they tune up for their annual summer date with the Queen at Balmoral. Professor Paul Mealor and the acclaimed chamber choir from Aberdeen University will be helping to launch the programme for this year’s North Wales International Music Festival on Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19.
Local choirs and solo singers are invited to a Come and Sing on the Saturday and in the evening there will be a Midsummer Music & Meditation concert. Sunday night’s main launch will feature the Welsh premiere of a new symphony written by Paul Mealor.
St Asaph-born Paul Mealor, 40, shot to global fame after he was commissioned to write ‘Ubi caritas et amor’ by Prince William for his April 2011 marriage to Catherine Middleton.
He began his education in music as a young choirboy at St Asaph Cathedral and is looking forward to being back on home turf. Paul said: “I was born in St Asaph and attended the town’s High School. I do love North Wales and have a house on Anglesey which I go to when I am composing.”
“The North Wales International Music Festival is really important. There are not too many places in the region where you can go and listen to the very best classical music. It’s a festival we must protect and ensure it goes from strength to strength. That’s why I’m delighted to be returning with my Aberdeen University Chamber Choir. I’m also delighted we will be performing the Welsh premiere of my latest work, Symphony Number 1, ‘Passiontide’. It’s deeply spiritual and written for choir and orchestra. It actually premiered in Scotland in November and I’m proud to say it received five star reviews. I’m so looking forward to hearing it performed in St Asaph.“
Ann Atkinson, the festival’s artistic director, says the Saturday workshop will be the start of a wonderful weekend of music. She said: “We really wanted to launch this year’s North Wales International Music Festival in style.”
“Paul Mealor, who was born in St Asaph and now lectures in music and composition at the University of Aberdeen, will run a workshop along with his Aberdeen University Chamber Choir on the Saturday afternoon from 2pm. Anyone wanting to take part can, whether choirs or solo vocalists.”
“That Saturday evening, between 9pm and 10pm, Paul and his choir will perform a very special midsummer evening concert which will be a performance not to be missed. Then on the Sunday evening at 7.30pm we will officially launch the programme for this year’s North Wales International Music Festival.”
“It is on this evening that Paul Mealor and his chamber choir will perform the Welsh premiere of his new choral symphony. They will be joined by Wrexham-based NEW Sinfonia orchestra for what will be a magical evening of choral music.”
To find out more about The North Wales International Music Festival visit www.nwimf.com