The Edington Festival of Music within the Liturgy
Edington is a small village on the edge of Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire. Forty minutes' drive from Bath or Salisbury, it lies four miles east of Westbury on the B3098. For one week in August every year since 1956, Edington has hosted a Festival of Music within the Liturgy in its magnificent fourteenth-century priory church. Singers from many of the great cathedral and collegiate choirs come together to take part in the week's daily services. There are no tickets for the services and seats cannot be reserved.
Throughout the week Matins and Compline are sung to plainsong by the Schola Cantorum (directed by Peter Stevens, Assistant Master of Music, Westminster Cathedral), whilst the principal services are led by a Nave Choir of men and boys (conducted by Matthew Martin, composer and Organist, London Oratory) and a Consort of mixed voices (directed by Jeremy Summerly, Sterndale Bennett Lecturer in Music at the Royal Academy of Music and conductor of Oxford Camerata & Paul Brough, Principal Guest Conductor, BBC Singers). The festival is directed by Benjamin Nicholas, Organist & Director of Music, Merton College, Oxford.
As the 58th Edington Music Festival drew to a conclusion with a live broadcast on BBC Radio 4 marking the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream speech', Festival Director Benjamin Nicholas was able to tell Festival attendees that their generosity had enabled the Edington Organ Project to reach its target. The new Harrison & Harrison organ was installed over the early spring months of 2013, and was officially launched at the 2014 Festival, having made its ‘maiden voyage’ at Edington’s Easter services. The new organ is receiving plenty of attention and is regularly played by visiting organists. Its full range and flexibility was impressively demonstrated during the 2014 Festival, and Ben Nicholas, Reed Rubin Organist and Director of Music at Merton College Oxford, as well as the Festival Director, performed a sparkling and very well-received programme for the inaugural Edington Arts concert in October 2014.
The 2016 festival will run from Sunday 21 to Sunday 28 August. Click here for more details.