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Sir David Willcocks to conduct at Haileybury

Singing enthusiasts will have the honour of working with eminent conductor Sir David Willcocks when Haileybury hosts its first Singing Weekend from 2 to 4 May 2008.

The concept of the Singing Weekend was created by Andrew Auster, the new Headmaster of Haileybury Almaty, 24 years ago, and has travelled with him from Shrewsbury, to Malvern, to Orwell Park and now to Haileybury where the Director of Music, Quentin Thomas, has taken on the organisation of the event.

Sir David Willcocks worked with Elgar, Howells and Vaughan Williams, and conducted the Three Choirs Festivals many times whilst at Worcester. He also made King’s College Carols famous, began John Rutter’s career, arranged and conducted music for Royal Weddings, and is still conducting in the USA, New Zealand and Australia this year, as well as conducting 5 000 people in The Albert Hall for "Come and Sing" Verdi Requiem.

The Singing Weekend forms part of the Hertford Music Festival and will provide those interested with an opportunity to attend three workshops with James Burton (Halle Chorus, Scholar Cantorum of Oxford), Dr Paul Whittaker (Music and the Deaf), Professor Mike and Wendy Gluyas, and participate in a concert.

The highlight of the event will be two concerts on Saturday, 3 May at All Saints Church, Hertford. An afternoon concert by the Orwell Park Trio will commence at 2.15pm (admission free), while the evening performance, with Sir David conducting, starts at 8.15pm with a performance of Parry’s incredible setting of Milton – Blest Pair of Sirens, and Haydn’s wonderfully colourful work – Nelson Mass. Tickets cost £10 on the door.

Composer, conductor and singer Bob Chilcott will be leading next year’s Singing Weekend.