Flower Festival returns to St Albans Abbey

Band Director of St Albans Jazz Ensemble (STAJE) Andy Baddaley, Dean of St Albans Cathedral the very

Band Director of St Albans Jazz Ensemble (STAJE) Andy Baddaley, Dean of St Albans Cathedral the very reverend Jeffery John, Mayor of St Albans Cllr Annie Brewster and STAJE Bass player Charlie Thornton at the launch of the St Albans Cathedral Flower Festival - Credit: Archant

For the first time in more than a decade, St Albans Cathedral is holding a Flower Festival this year.

The Music in Bloom Festival in September will transform every inch of the building into an oasis of colour and music.

The four-day event from September 25-28 is expected to be one of the biggest in the region this year, attracting an anticipated 15,000 visitors to the city.

Hundreds of imaginative flower displays will be on display, from posies to designs that scale the heights of the Cathedral nave.

The arrangements will be themed on musical titles of every genre – classical pieces from Vivaldi, Handel and Holst will take their place alongside modern classics from Adele, Abba, and Elton John.

Visitors will be able to see hymns, nursery rhymes, songs from the musicals and famous film theme tunes brought to life in arrangements of all sizes and hues. A programme of live music throughout the festival will add to the atmosphere.

Chair of the flower festival committee, Liz Semple, commented, “We have a cast of hundreds working hard to deliver a wonderful event. Our artistic director, Jackie Scopes, and her talented team have designed an ambitious scheme that marries the beauty of the flowers with much loved musical pieces and popular songs.

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“We hope to be welcoming visitors from far and wide and, above all, we want them to have a fun day out so we have planned a festival which appeals to everyone, not just to those with a particular interest in flowers.”

Dean of St Albans Cathedral, the Very Rev Jeffrey John, said: “Cathedral worship is about trying to offer God the best of everything. Flowers are a big part of the symphony of the senses – music, art, architecture, liturgical movement and colour, the spoken word, and even the scent of flowers and incense – which all combine to make the beauty of the cathedral and its services.

“This is the perfect setting for what will be a magnificent festival this September, when the combined talents of our Flower Guild and of many others throughout the diocese will fill the building with thousands of flowers designed around the theme of Music in Bloom. Expect to be dazzled and inspired by a spectacular display.”

The Mayor of St Albans Cllr Annie Brewster added: “The Flower Festival programme with its exciting feast of musical themes sounds simply stunning. We could not wish for a more majestic canvas than our ancient cathedral to display the promised oasis of flowers and I cannot wait to see some of the inspiring floral crescendos created at the end of September.”

Admission to the flower festival will be £10 with under 16s free with a paying adult. Tickets can be reserved from the box office on 01727 890290 prior to the full range going on sale later this month. Pre-booked tickets automatically entitle visitors to fast track admission into the event.

A programme of evening events will also be held during the festival including music performed by the winners of the 2014 St Albans Young Musician of the Year competition, a gala preview party and a jazz picnic.