Bath history sing song

Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey

A children’s choir of 350 primary school pupils from all across the city will be coming together for a one-off performance on Tuesday 9 June, 6.30-8pm at Bath Abbey.

The children, who are all part of the Abbey’s Schools’ Singing Programme, will be singing the ‘New Best Tour of Bath with Songs’, a new piece of classical music composed specially for the occasion by award-winning composer, Thomas Hewitt Jones, the 2003 BBC Young Composer of the Year. Combined with the lyrics of Paul Williamson, the ‘New Best Tour of Bath’ is best described as a series of fun and lively stories about Bath’s past and present, told through song, and is designed to be family-friendly and accessible to children.

Composer, Thomas Hewitt Jones, and lyricist, Paul Williamson, explain: “Our audience will be taken on a magical journey of the wonders of Bath through the ages. The music will fire your imagination and hopefully capture your heart. But, what makes this concert different from other classical music concerts is that it will be very child-friendly; with lots of fun and imaginative stories – sung by children – for children. It’s certain to appeal to all ages especially the younger members of the audience and the young at heart. Do come and enjoy the journey with us!”

Highlights will include finding out more about Bath’s legendary origins and the mysteries of the Roman temple, seeing the celebrated portrait painter, Mr G – , at work in his studio and accompanying Mr and Mrs Mouse as they attend the Alderman’s Ball in Regency Bath.

An illustration by artist, Debbie Loftus, of one of the highlights of the ‘musical tour’ of Mr and Mrs Mouse attending the Alderman’s Ball in Regency Bath.
An illustration by artist, Debbie Loftus, of one of the highlights of the ‘musical tour’ of Mr and Mrs Mouse attending the Alderman’s Ball in Regency Bath.

On the night, the choir of 350 children from the Abbey’s Schools’ Singing Programme will be conducted by Shean Bowers, Choral Director for Schools at Bath Abbey. Shean Bowers says: “It promises to be a very exciting evening for all involved. The children have been working hard over the last few weeks, practising so that they can sing this world premiere to the best of their abilities. I am pleased that we are able to offer the children the opportunity to perform in front of an audience, alongside a professional baritone and musical ensemble, and in such a beautiful venue. For many, this will be their first experience singing live and we’d like it to be an experience of a lifetime.”

9 year old John from Widcombe Junior School, who is a member of the Abbey’s Schools Singing Programme, said: “I am so excited to be singing in the Abbey. My favourite piece is about Mr and Mrs Mouse; it is really fun and tells a really interesting story. Even though we have practised it lots, I am still not bored of it and really enjoy singing about it.”

The ‘New Best Tour of Bath with Songs’ will take place at Bath Abbey on Tuesday 9 June, 6.30pm to 8pm. Performers include: King Bladud’s New Best Bath Chamber Orchestra; children’s choir of 350 local primary school pupils from the Abbey’s Schools Singing Programme; Baritone – Craig Bissex; Conductor – Shean Bowers. Tickets are priced at £8 Adult, £6 Child (under 16) available via Bath Box Office on 01225 463362 /
About Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey is a flourishing Church of England parish church which technically serves a small city centre parish (Bath Abbey with St James). This parish has a small residential population and primarily consists of commercial properties; and most of the regular congregation and the 692 people on the electoral roll live in other parishes or come from outside the city of Bath.

The Abbey holds daily services of morning or evening prayer or Holy Communion; and the standard pattern of Sunday worship is for five daily services attended on average by 630 people. Special services at Advent, Christmas and Easter are well attended; and many local organisations hold annual services in the Abbey.

The Abbey has four choirs: Men’s, Boys’ and Girls’ choirs support worship in services; whilst Melody Makers is a choir for younger children which performs in concerts in the Abbey once a term and at other events in and around Bath.

The Abbey runs a successful Schools Singing Programme, an outreach activity which supports singing within local schools and holds regular workshops and concerts in the Abbey. The Abbey welcomes approximately 400,000 visitors annually and is open daily all year round; many of these visitors being families and school parties.

Apart from being a place of prayer, worship, weddings and funerals, the Abbey has an important role as a visitor destination, a performance space (for audiences anywhere between 10 and 1,000), a general civic space and an exhibition space.