One of the biggest free lunch-hour concert series in the country resumes at St Chad’s Church in Shrewsbury on February 3rd.
There will be nearly 50 concerts in 2023 running weekly until December 22nd, with the exception of Good Friday (April 7th).
Concerts begin at 12.30pm, they last just 40 minutes and there is a light lunch served after each concert in the church hall. Concert-goers can park from noon to 2.00pm free of charge at the church, space permitting.
Concert Director Richard Walker said: “Our audience numbers have picked up after Covid, and many regard Friday at St Chad’s as the most enjoyable part of their week. Both the organ and the piano at St Chad’s are among the best church instruments for miles around, and excellent performers are constantly asking us to give them a platform. Where else can you find such a free concert series with no tickets required and lunch on site afterwards? Audiences come from all over the West Midlands to enjoy high quality music-making by performers of all ages.!
Ffor the first time, the choir of the University Church of Cambridge – Great St Mary’s – will perform on February 17th); a programme for flute quartet played by 4 of our excellent local professionals on April 21st and another harp recital by the rising star Gina Taylor on July 21st. Cello recitals will be given by two great soloists: Corinne Frost (June 30th) and Ulrich Heinen (September 29th). There are vocal, piano, violin and many other recitals as well, together with several chamber music concerts.
Concerts by students from Chetham’s School of Music are on March 24th, May 12th, October 6th and December 1st. The willingness of musicians from one of the world’s leading musical training schools to play in Shrewsbury should be a source of great pride to everyone in the area. Other schools contributing to the series include The Old Hall, Wellington, (February 10th), Packwood Haugh (March 17th) and Shrewsbury School (September 15th). Student performers from the Birmingham Royal Conservatoire, begin with soprano Yunqing Jiang on March 31st.
Organ recitals again form a significant part of the year’s entertainment; amongst other excellent players we welcome Carleton Etherington from Tewkesbury Abbey for the first concert of the year on February 3rd, Jonathan Hope (Gloucester Cathedral – June 16th), Peter King (Organist Emeritus at Bath Abbey – September 22nd) and Samuel Hudson (Worcester Cathedral – November 17th) together with recitals from Anthony Pinel and Richard Walker from the home team at St Chad’s”.
Full listings, including programmes of forthcoming concerts, can be found on the church website stchadschurchshrewsbury.com, where details of all the other musical activities at St Chad’s, including regular choral services and other concerts, are posted.