In celebration of the 200th anniversary since the first performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, WOWFest will create a community chorus of over 100 singers to perform the famous Ode to Joy on Saturday 20th July in Wells Cathedral.

Singing enthusiasts young and old will have the chance to take part in an intensive weekend of rehearsals on 6th and 7th July, and will be accompanied by the Bristol Classical Players with conductor Tom Gauterin and four professional soloists for the concert. Wells Cathedral Oratorio Society is delighted to be collaborating with WOWFest for this event as part of its new drive to bring exciting choral music to Somerset.

This ambitious cultural project for the city of Wells has received support from Arts Council England, Wells City Council and the Elmgrant Trust. The concert will join worldwide celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of the first performance of this iconic work, which was a landmark in the history of classical music and Western art.

Director of WOWFest Tamsin Smith said: “Our intention is to promote joy, unity, cohesion and wellbeing in our community through an inclusive and accessible performance of a work that forms such a significant part of our cultural heritage.”

Rehearsals will be led by experienced conductors Katrine Reimers and Matthew Redman.

The chorus is open to singing enthusiasts with some experience from Wells and beyond: