The St Cecilia Service: a Celebration of Music will take place this Wednesday 18 November at 11am at St Paul’s Cathedral, London. Held on the Wednesday before Saint Cecilia Day, the event has been an annual celebration at the heart of Help Musicians UK since its inception in 1946.
Saint Cecilia is the patroness of music and musicians and according to legend, was martyred for her Christian faith around the year 230 AD. In 1683 the Musical Society was formed to counteract the Puritan view that music, whether sacred or secular, was dangerous. In order to keep Saint Cecilia’s Day on 22nd November, the Society attended a service in London to enjoy a sermon preached in defence of cathedral music. The anthem for the first Festival was Purcell.
We are delighted that the three choirs of Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral and St Paul’s Cathedral are coming together to provide the first public performance of this year’s commissioned Anthem by composer Matthew Martin. This year’s theme is ‘legacy’ and will celebrate the musicians whose legacies continue to enrich our lives through their music, including Maria Callas, John Lennon, Sir Edward William Elgar, Miles Davis, Ludwig van Beethoven, Billie Holiday and Jacqueline du Pré.
Complimentary tickets to Wednesday’s celebration are still available. Please ring 020 7239 9114 to reserve your seat. Tickets can be collected on the day at St Paul’s Cathedral.