Nationwide Concert Tour Has Special Camden Finale

A hugely successful concert tour that has seen thousands of people across the country singing together to turn folk songs into hymns will have a final performance in Camden Town on 14th October as a fundraiser for St Michael's Church. Here's a video from Exeter Cathedral:

The critically acclaimed From Pub to Pulpit tour has wowed full houses at more than twenty Cathedrals and Festivals, celebrating Ralph Vaughan Williams' 150th birthday. Camden Town will be the only Central London venue of the year-long tour.

It's been featured on BBC Radio Four; BBC Radio Three; screened live internationally on TV and was hailed as a "Highlight of the Vaughan Williams Festival Year" by The Times; The Guardian; The Telegraph; The Observer; Gramophone and Living Tradition Folk magazines.

Although the tour has now officially ended, the additional performance will mark the end of the Vaughan Williams' anniversary year. His birthday is 12 October.

"We want to say thank you to St Michael's, because it's where Broomdasher rehearse every week. We want to raise the roof there with everyone singing at the tops of their voices as they have across the country". said Broomdasher's Margaret Moore, also a Camden Town resident.

Father Michael Thomas, Parish Priest at St Michael's, who is a devotee of Vaughan Williams, said: "We're very excited, not least because Vaughan Williams' wife Ursula lived in Gloucester Crescent, just a five minute walk from the church".

As well as Broomdasher, the concert features instrumental duo The Pagoda Project, with renowned accordionist Paul Hutchinson and clarinettist Karen Wimhurst.

Tickets cost £10.00 and are available from Eventbrite: From Pub to Pulpit Tickets, Sat 14 Oct 2023 at 19:30 | Eventbrite

In the concert, the audience join in with the organ; choir and two groups in a unique and rousing tribute to Vaughan Williams, who was a renowned folk song collector. He borrowed the tunes from some of the working people's favourite folk songs to use for some of the best hymns in the 1906 English Hymnal he edited.

Broomdasher and The Pagoda Project take the audience through the acapella folk song, dance variations and a glorious climax with full-blooded hymn renditions.

They include "To Be a Pilgrim", and "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say", transformed from the folk songs "Our Captain Calls" and "The Murder of Maria Marten".

Here's what people have said about From Pub to Pulpit:

It's very different to what we normally do, but the audience involvement was magnificent and it was hugely enjoyable.

Alexis Patterson. Artistic Director, Three Choirs Festival

A unique idea that was everything I hoped it would be and more.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen. Artistic Director Two Moors Festival Devon

It was a fabulous concert and a great way to start our weekend.

Bob Rushton, Artistic Director Derby Folk Festival

A beautiful, magical evening exceeding all expectations and drawing our biggest 900th Anniversary audience.

Benjamin Carter, Canon Warden, Carlisle Cathedral

My favourite event at this year's Festival. Standing room only and everyone singing

Jo Tuffs, Artistic Director Broadstairs Folk Week

Media responses:

A unique piece of live musical education and entertainment with a truly rollicking flavour

Choir and Organ Magazine

Proves that the Devil doesn't have all the Best Tunes. Brilliant.

English Folk Dance and Song Society Magazine

An Excellent idea with excellent performers

Classical Music Daily

It's such a brilliant idea and I'm not surprised that audiences are responding so well. Extremely uplifting.

Jonathan Hallewell BBC Radio 4 Sunday Programme

A wonderful idea brilliantly brought to life by talented and exciting performers. The joy it brings is amazing.

Jon Bickley: Presenter Invisible Folk Club Radio