Festival of Saint Cecilia, St Paul's Cathedral

Wednesday 21st November 2012

Since 1946, The Festival of Saint Cecilia, the Patron Saint of Music, has been the Flagship Event of the Musicians Benevolent Fund. The service is held in rotation at St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminter Abbey and Westminster Cathedral, with the choirs from each of them singing together. I had the honour of processing with the other Livery ompanies and was supported by the Mistress and our Clerk.

This year's Festival theme was the celebration of HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee and an anthem was commissioned for the three choirs, as is the case each year. The address was given by the composer Will Todd, who wrote the anthem for the Diamond Jubilee Thanksgiving Service at St. Paul's in June. He spoke simply and directly about the inspirations that enabled him to compose it and the sheer wonder of hearing a new piece of music for the first time.

Pride of place must go to the music in the service but the real thrill for me was hearing Sir Willard White's majestic bass voice reading the first lesson. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa didn't do badly with the second one either!