Chiswick music group, the Addison Singers invited to Royal Garden Party

Image above: Addison choir

Invitation takes choirs by surprise

The Addison Singers, a group of musicians based in Chiswick, has received an unexpected invitation to the Royal Garden Party for twenty of their members.

The invite was extended by Judith Weir, the Master of the King’s Music, whose cantata Oh sweet spontaneous earth they commissioned for the choir’s fiftieth-anniversary celebration.

Weir offered ten tickets to the Royal Garden Party, which is held annually in May at Buckingham Palace, for two people each. Every year, she is asked by the Palace to invite musical guests to the event. She generally invites people from the ensembles and organisations she has worked with in the previous year.

The Addison Singers are sending their five long-standing music professionals and their guests, as well as four Addison Management Group volunteers, two former trustees, and four ordinary members who were chosen by ballot. The remaining 150 or so members of the choir will hold their own garden party – a bring-your-own picnic with a best hat award.

Image above: Addison Singers chair Fran O’Brien (standing) applauds David Wordsworth sitting on the garden bench given to him at his farewell concert – while the Oratorio and Chamber choir stand behind

Invitation a “historic” moment, says Addison Singers chair

Fran O’Brien, the chair of Addison Singers, told The Chiswick Calendar:

“We were totally bowled over to get the invite for the royal garden party. It was so exciting not least because we will be going to the garden party the day after the coronation. It’s historic. It made us realise just how pleased Judith was with the way we had sung her lovely cantata. And that’s a huge compliment coming from the Master of the King’s Music.

“We’ve just celebrated 50 years as a choir and when we sung this piece we were saying thank you and goodbye to our musical director, David Wordsworth, after 26 years. It was a great send off for him and this invitation is the icing on the cake!

“We’ve got a tradition of great amateur choral singing in this country and we’re very lucky in Chiswick with several really good amateur choirs.  It’s exhilarating to commission new music of this standard and sing it with amateurs who range from those who’ve sung all their life to those who can’t read music and just want to have a go.”

The Addison Singers consists of two classical choirs and two jazz choirs. They rehearse at POSK in Hammersmith and perform at St Peter’s on Southfield Road, as well as at St Andrews in Hammersmith and other venues. The choirs also offer classes at Arts Ed and in the Grove Neighbourhood Centre, both in-person and online.

Their upcoming performances include a classical summer concert at St Peter’s on July 8, led by their new musical director, Matthew Thomas Morgan, and Jazz at the Jazz Cellar at POSK on 26 June.

The group is open for enrolment, with free admission for individuals under 30 years of age. The group hopes news of their invitation to the Royal Garden Party will encourage more people to join.