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Combined choirs sing to the Patron Saint of Musicians

The choirs of St Paul's, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral have come together at a service in praise of St Cecilia.


The service was organised by the Musicians Benevolent Fund, to celebrate the Patron Saint of musicians and church music, whose feast day falls on November 22.

The service was attended by HRH The Duchess of Gloucester and the Lord Mayor of London, and the address was delivered by Will Todd, composer of The Call of Wisdom, which was commissioned as the anthem for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee service at St Paul's in June.

Guest readers at the service were world-renowned opera singers Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Sir Willard White, who stepped-in for Sir Michael Parkinson, who was unable to attend.

This year's service especially celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen and the Feast of Christ the King, which takes place on November 25 and will be marked at St Paul's with a special Jazz Mass.

Each year, a special anthem is commissioned by the Musicians' Benevolent Fund, with the support of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust, which is premiered by the combined choirs at the service. This year's work was Alec Roth's anthem, Jubilate.

Previous composers have included Ralph Vaughan Williams, John Tavener, Roxanna Panufnik, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Jonathan Dove and Ronald Corp.

Another special feature of the Service was the procession of many of the London Livery Companies.

This festival service has been held in London each year since 1946, on the Wednesday nearest to St Cecilia’s Day, and is rotated between the two Cathedrals and the Abbey.