From Dibley to Peterborough

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Award winning composer Howard Goodall, best-known for his theme tunes for TV series such as QI, Mr Bean and The Vicar of Dibley, will conduct 200 young musicians at Peterborough Cathedral, on May 1.

The talented youngsters will come together to perform Every Purpose Under Heaven, the oratorio composed by Mr Goodall to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible in 2011.

The pupils are from The King’s (The Cathedral) School in Peterborough, Oundle School, Prince William School Oundle, The Rushden Academy and Wrenn School in Wellingborough. They will be joined by soprano soloist Claire Lees, tenor soloist Andrew Kennedy and the cellist Peter Adams.

The concert also includes Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony, and a performance of the Mass sections of Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man sung by a choir of adult voices from local choral societies. Quentin Thomas, Director of Music at Oundle School, will conduct this part of the concert.

Bringing together so many young people to perform a choral piece on this scale was the brainchild of Sir Ewan Harper who, with his wife Jenny, commissioned Every Purpose Under Heaven in 2011 as a gift for The United Church Schools Trust. The couple have sponsored this performance to mark their 50th wedding anniversary.

“It is very great pleasure and a privilege to be able to celebrate our golden wedding by providing the opportunity for young musicians to sing this marvellous piece in Peterborough Cathedral. We were delighted when Howard Goodall agreed to come and conduct his work and we are very much looking forward to the performance,” said Sir Ewan Harper.

Tickets for the concert are £5 and are available in advance from Oundle Box Office on 01832 274734 or via