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The Old Baptist Chapel in Tewkesbury will play host to four concerts this summer

PUBLISHED: 11:33 04 May 2016 | UPDATED: 11:33 04 May 2016

Sebastian Field as mayor

Sebastian Field as mayor

Archant

The Old Baptist Chapel in Tewkesbury will hold four concerts exploring the rich history of the Chapel and of Tewkesbury – two in May and two in July.

A narrow medieval alleyway off Tewkesbury’s Church Street reveals the Old Baptist Chapel, an enigmatic building used for religious purposes from the early 1600s, with origins in the medieval period. Thanks to grants from the Abbey Lawn Trust, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Tewkesbury Borough Council, the Chapel has received a bit of well-needed TLC, reopening this Easter.

It’s this atmospheric and ancient place which provides the venue for four concerts exploring the rich history of the Chapel and of Tewkesbury – two in May and two in July. You’ll hear the music of medieval and Tudor England, sung and played on instruments of the time such as the viol, lute, recorder, crumhorn and harpsichord. We celebrate Shakespeare in his 400th anniversary year - the burial ground behind the chapel contains the graves of some of Shakepeare’s relatives.

On Friday 13 May at 8pm in There is no rose, singers Sebastian and Vicki Field, with lutenist Jessica Gordon, tell the story of Gloucester and Tewkesbury’s royal past, in words and music. Sebastian Field, current Mayor of Gloucester, will introduce musical illustrations ranging from Sumer is icumen in, the earliest known piece of polyphony, to Tudor and Renaissance lute songs, via the anonymous Agincourt Carol and the haunting There is no Rose and courtly songs from around Europe by composers such as John Dowland, Bartolomeo Tromboncino and Gilles Binchois. Tickets are £12.

On Saturday 28 May at 3pm Chelys viol consort present Music with her silver sound, playing music from the time of Shakespeare, by John Dowland, Thomas Tomkins (choirboy at Gloucester and organist at Worcester Cathedral) and William Byrd (who owned property near the Severn at Longney) with readings from Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets by actor Sarah Finch. Tickets are £15.

To coincide with the Tewkesbury Medieval Festival, on Sunday 10 July The Border Waites will bring their shawms, crumhorns, recorders, viols and percussion to tell the story of a shipwreck – which resulted in the chance meeting of Philip the Handsome and his wife Joanna the Mad, and King Henry VII.

Finally, on Sunday 31 July internationally-renowned tenor Rogers Covey-Crump joins the Windsor Box&Fir Co for Under the Greenwood Tree, music from 18th century England including Shakespeare settings and other popular songs from the theatre and pleasure gardens of the day.

Organised by Jill Davies – who runs the arts events websites www.severnmuses.net and www.chambermusicplus.uk – with the help of the John Moore Museum, where you can buy tickets to all concerts. For more details please call 01684 850112 or email oldchapelcourt@btinternet.com

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