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07 December 2019Westminster Abbey Musical/Historical Tour with the Purcell Club

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Westminster Abbey Musical/Historical Tour with the Purcell Club
Saturday 07 December 2019

Back in 2015 we put our name down for this magical  event, which was highly recommended at the Arts Society Information Day. We are now fortunate to have been given a coveted December slot, when the Abbey will be beautifully decorated for Christmas  

The Tour

We will assemble at 6.45pm in the Cloisters for a welcome by a member of the Purcell Club or Abbey clergy. We then move into the Abbey and take seats in the Nave for the commencement of the tour at 7.00pm, when the first piece of sacred music is sung.

The speaker will describe the history and architecture of the Abbey in some detail, moving from one location of interest to the next, including the Quire, Sacrarium, High Altar, the Cosmati Pavement (unique in this country), St Edward the Confessor’s Shrine, Henry VII Chapel and Poets’ Corner.  At various points there will be a pause for members of the Purcell Club to sing suitable musical items ranging from the 16th to 21st centuries.  

On returning to the Nave for the final part of the tour, a short piece will be played by one of the Abbey organists to demonstrate the Abbey’s magnificent organ. The tour will end with the choir singing a piece of suitable solemnity, such as ‘The Kontakion for the Departed’, around the Unknown Warrior’s Grave as the lights dim.  The evening will conclude at approximately 9.15pm.

The Purcell Club

The Purcell Club is named after Henry Purcell, the famous composer, who was organist of Westminster Abbey from 1679-1695. It is a male voice choir formed predominantly from members of the Westminster Abbey Old Choristers’ Association, though guest singers join us from time to time. The singers give their services in order to put on these tours and all the profits from ticket sales go to support the Abbey and a range of small charities.

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