.Peterborough Voices will take part in the International Women’s Choral Festival.Peterborough Voices will take part in the International Women’s Choral Festival
.Peterborough Voices will take part in the International Women’s Choral Festival

Peterborough to host International Women’s Choral Festival

Singers from across the UK and as far afield as Canada will be taking part in the inaugural Peterborough International Women’s Choral Festival later this month

​Local music education charity Peterborough Sings! is hosting this exciting new weekend event for female choirs, which will take place in the city from June 16-18.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England, the Festival will focus on the female experience of choral singing, championing women’s choirs and female composers and celebrating the quality and ambition of women’s singing globally.

Groups and ensembles of all sizes, ages and traditions will participate in this wonderful weekend full of challenge, inspiration and new friendships, supporting each other to be the best they can be through collaboration, performance and the exchange of ideas.

The Festival will also empower local women from diverse communities to get involved, join in and find their voices, and a number of specially-formed ‘pop-up’ choirs - including a workplace choir, a Latvian choir and a Mums choir – will also be taking part.

Centred around Cathedral Square with its vibrant café culture, the Festival will feature a Gala Concert at Peterborough Cathedral, competition classes, informal singing opportunities, practical workshops with international specialists and a series of seminars exploring and addressing the challenges facing women’s choirs today.

With choirs visiting Peterborough from across the UK and overseas the Festival will be fantastic for cultural and community engagement in the city: it will make an important contribution to supporting the visitor and cultural economy, raising the city’s profile and showcasing its offering, as well as showing that Arts Council England’s investment in Peterborough as a ‘priority place’ for levelling up culture is being well spent.

Members of the public can watch competition classes in the cathedral free of charge (10am-1pm), and attend the Festival Gala Concert at 7pm on the Saturday (17th) – an exciting evening of singing as some of the world’s best women’s choirs showcase their very different performance styles and repertoire in a wonderful celebration of women’s voices.

Further information at www.peterboroughsings.org.uk

•As part of the Festival, all the way from Canada, the world-renowned Elektra women’s choir presents the European premiere of The Lost Words: A Spell Book – their evocative musical interpretation of the celebrated book by author Robert Macfarlane and visual artist Jackie Morris at the Key Theatre on June 19.

The book has been a huge bestseller since its publication in 2017, taking root in schools across Britain, transcending age barriers and inspiring children and adults alike with its broad appeal.

Intended to conjure back into our lives 20 everyday nature words – including “acorn”, “bluebell”, “kingfisher” and “wren” – which were not used enough to merit inclusion in the Oxford Junior Dictionary, the book’s “spells” represent a literary “re-wilding of childhood” and a celebration of the near-lost magic of nature that still surrounds us.