St Albans celebrates town twinning with Germany with 50th anniversary concert

PUBLISHED: 14:17 09 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:17 09 April 2019

The St Albans Chamber Choir and Wormser Kantorei in Worms, Germany in 2017. Picture: St Albans Chamber Choir

The St Albans Chamber Choir and Wormser Kantorei in Worms, Germany in 2017. Picture: St Albans Chamber Choir

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A St Albans choir is holding an anniversary concert to celebrate a 50-year partnership with a town in Germany.

The Wormser Kantorei in Worms, Germany with their conductor Stefan Merkelbach. Picture: St Albans Chamber ChoirThe Wormser Kantorei in Worms, Germany with their conductor Stefan Merkelbach. Picture: St Albans Chamber Choir

The city has been twinned with Worms since 1957, and one of their earliest joint endeavours was a combined concert between the St Albans Chamber Choir and the Wormser Kantorei in 1969.

The concert is repeated every two years, hosted alternately in St Albans and Worms, and this year’s 50th anniversary concert will be held in St Albans and coincides with the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Chamber Choir.

Chamber Choir secretary and singer Trevor Barton said: “It will be a big opportunity to good to miss, with a mix of English and Austrian composers.

“We host the Kantorei when they come, and most of them stay with people or we put them in hotels, and they reciprocate when we go over there.”
Trevor believes that local projects such as town twinning illustrate the important of friendship and cooperation between European countries in light of Brexit.

He said: “It just shows at a grass roots level what goes on and the value of that.

“There’s a great deal of sorrow at the moment at the way the whole thing’s going and many people like us see the value of being European.

“Town twinning was a movement aimed at fostering peace, cooperation, reconciliation, cultural exchange, tourism and trade in the immediate post-war period.
“Twinning, in a very real sense, was an initiative to which the man and woman in the street could contribute directly while leaving governments to work on cooperation at the nation state level.”

The concert will be held at St Albans Abbey on Saturday, April 27. The programme includes Mozart, Handel, Ralph Vaughan Williams and William Alwyn, with Mozart’s The Coronation Mass and Handel’s Zadok the Priest partnered with Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem Alwyn’s orchestral tone poem, The Innumerable Dance.

There will also be a civic reception on Wednesday, April 24 in the Assembly Room at St Albans Museum + Gallery, which will be attended by the chamber choir, the Wormser Kantorei, St Albans Mayor Rosemary Farmer and Cllr Annie Brewster, who has been heavily involved in the project.

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