St Albans Shakespeare Festival: Chamber choir inspired by the Bard

John Gibbons

John Gibbons - Credit: Archant

St Albans Chamber Choir sing Shakespeare next Saturday, April 30, as its contribution to the city’s festival marking the 400th anniversary of the death of the Bard.

The concert will take place from 7.30pm at St Saviour’s Church in Sandpit Lane and feature a varied programme inspired by Shakespeare’s verse.

It will include the choral version of Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, along with his Three Shakespeare Songs, which includes his eerie portrayal of underwater bells in Full Fathom Five.

By contrast are two groups of settings by composer, swing band leader and jazz pianist, George Shearing, who drew on Shakespeare’s sonnets for the words to his Music to Hear and Songs and Sonnets.

Other featured Shakespeare songs are by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, E J Moeran, Antony Milner and Richard Rodney Bennett, whose version of Full Fathom Five will be the third different version which the choir will sing.

The music is interspersed with Shakespearean readings by Rosemary Partridge and Terry Prince of The Company of Ten and is conducted by the choir’s music director, John Gibbons.

Tickets are £14 and £1 for children and full-time students, available in advance from the ticket line 07570 454744, emailing or online.