Provincial press releases

Music festival is a celebration of life – Archbishop

From pop to the Proms – music helps us celebrate and enjoy life, says the Archbishop of Wales.

Dr Barry Morgan will strike a chord with music lovers when he preaches at the opening service of the North Wales International Music Festival on Sunday (Sept 20).

The Festival Service takes place at St Asaph Cathedral, kicking off two weeks of live classical music concerts at the Cathedral, which is famous for its powerful acoustics. This year, the festival’s theme is a “Celebration of Light”.

The Archbishop says, “Music has an immense capacity to move people from a range of ages and backgrounds: from the cheering audience at the Last Night of the Proms, to the crowds of people at a pop concert to hear Take That or McFly, to the quiet experience of a solitary person who wants to escape from themselves and from the world for a while. Music meets all our demands, all our requirements and many of our emotional needs. So it is excellent that we are celebrating the North Wales International Music Festival at this service.

“A festival means ‘celebration’– a making merry – celebrating life. So this Festival of Music is a celebration of life and affirming that life is good and to be enjoyed.”

The Festival’s artistic director, Ann Atkinson, says, “It is a great honour to have the Archbishop of Wales preaching at the Festival Eucharist this year and we are very grateful that he has been able to fit us in to his busy schedule. We look forward to the enlightenment that his address will bring at the start of our light themed festival.”

All are welcome to the Festival Service which starts at 11am on Sunday (Sept 20) and at which the Bishop of St Asaph, Dr Gregory Cameron, will preside. Music will be led by the Cathedral choir and includes Louis Vierne’s Messe Solennelle mass setting and the motet Walk Humbly With Your God, by Malcolm Archer. The Introit will be Mathias’ Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates and the Voluntary will be Lanquetuit’s Toccata.

The photo shows St Asaph Cathedral choirboys.

North Wales International Music Festival programme