Midland Festival Chorus


MFC – a day of singing with a difference!

Midland Festival Chorus has moved its base over the past 40 years from Shepshed to Leicester, Warwick and most recently to Worcester, where it presented many major large-scale works in the Cathedral.

Over the past few years, MFC organised a choral workshop or singing day, but with a difference! These one-day events ended with an informal performance with soloists, concentrate on getting under the skin of major choral works, learning performance techniques… and having some fun at the same time.

Recent Choral Workshops have included Stabat Mater by Pergolesi (in an unusual SATB version), Mozart’s Requiem (but with the rarely-heard piano duet accompaniment by Carl Czerny), Elgar’s The Music Makers, Karl Jenkin’s The Armed Man,  and Poulenc’s Gloria. In April 2018 we sang choruses from Mendelssohn’s Elijah and, following a successful concert of Vivaldi’s Gloria and Pergolesi’s Magnificat in the beautiful Pershore Abbey in 2017, we returned in September 2018 to perform Haydn’s Nelson Mass.


A message from the committee:

“In the course of our final Workshop Day it became apparent that every past singer has at least one highlight or happy memory of a particular workshop or concert. We have therefore decided to produce a booklet of such memories, possibly with some illustrations or photos, a bit of history, past repertoire etc. We are therefore inviting YOU to submit a paragraph or two outlining your favourite memory or highlight of Choral Workshop/MFC. All contributions to the administrator by Thursday 30 June please.”

“Also, we invite Members (those who pay for membership) to submit suggestions for worthy recipients of the MFC assets. Please send your ideas to the administrator by Thursday 30 June for consideration at a later Committee meeting. A short summary of the objects and work of any proposed charities would be very helpful to assist the Committee in forming a strategy.”

Further details are in the May 2019 Newsletter
Update – November 2019:

The committee have met over the last few months to discuss Charity suggestions from members of Midland Festival Chorus. So far the following organisations have been chosen: Brockham Choral Society, Pershore High Trust, St Chad’s Choral Outreach, Prison Choir Project and Choirs Beating Time.

Brockham Choral Society promotes the enjoyment of music and development of musical knowledge through concerts and workshops. Upcoming projects include a workshop with the Surrey Youth Choir and a composition competition for schoolchildren.

Pershore High Trust is a fantastic school in a small town where they are promoting choral singing and currently have a four part choir. The donation has helped buy two new digital pianos. Pershore High has been very supportive of MFC in the past, hosting rehearsals and facilitating concerts in the local abbey.

St Chad’s Choral Outreach is committed to developing and improving education in the art of music, in particular that of choral singing. Many of the children taking part are from some of the most deprived areas of Birmingham.

The Prison Choir Project is a Koestker PLATINUM Award winning Charity whose objectives are to rehabilitate prisoners, ex-offenders and people experiencing mental disorder by the advance of the arts and culture, in particular through the performance of opera, song, and choral music.

Choirs Beating Time deliver weekly choir rehearsals in 10 prisons working with over 630 prisoners, delivering 696 rehearsal sessions and 88 performances over the last five years. Four of the prisons they work in are in the West Midlands – HMPs Birmingham, Featherstone, Rye Hill and HMP/YOI Brinsford. Their aim is to equip people, practically and emotionally, to use their sentences well and create a fulfilling life when they leave prison.

March 2020 update:

After further research and discussion, the committee have decided to donate to Broom Leys Primary School, St Barnabas Primary School, Ex Cathedra, The Mayflower Project and LOROS Well-being Choir.

Broom Leys Primary in Leicester will use the funds towards engaging a choral animateur to provide singing lessons, to support singing workshops and give training to teachers attending those workshops. The school believes in the importance of music to aid with social, personal and musical development. Our Director of Music’s wife, Rebecca Goldring, is Music Co-ordinator at Broom Leys and has been a loyal member of MFC for many years, in the past accompanying MFC rehearsals.

St Barnabas Primary in Worcester will use the funds for a new digital piano where music, choir rehearsals and peripatetic singing lessons enhance pupils’ learning and experience. The school runs weekly an infant singing club, junior choir rehearsals, rock band sessions and individual lessons. Sarah Hanson is headmistress at St Barnabas and a supportive MFC member.

Ex Cathedra is a professional choir and consort in Birmingham that promotes choral singing both in schools and at university level and beyond. Their education work also goes in to Birmingham Children’s hospital. Solihull Hospital and local schools. They offer scholarships both to aspiring choral singers and conductors.

The Mayflower Project provides an outstanding opportunity for young people to learn and perform a major choral/orchestral work with professional orchestra, artists and choral conductor in Worcester Cathedral, April 2020. The work, Mayflower on The Sea Of Time, has been specially commissioned from composer Philip Sawyers to mark the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to Plymouth Colony, New England in 1620. (Worcs. has strong associations with the Mayflower story through senior Pilgrim Father, Edward Winslow, who was born locally and educated in Worcester.)

The LOROS Wellbeing Choir is for workers and volunteers at LOROS Hospice, a local charity where every year they care for over 2,500 people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. They provide free, high-quality, compassionate care and support to terminally ill adult patients, their family and carers.

There will be further updates in due course.