This weekend sees the welcome return of the Cathedral’s Group Festival Concert, after a three-year Covid absence.

This national event brings together university choirs from across England - that comprise the Cathedrals Group - to celebrate music and provide a feast of choral music.

Each year, the festival is hosted by a different member of the Cathedrals Group. This year, Canterbury Christ Church University host as part of their celebrations marking their Diamond Jubilee. Taking place in the splendour of Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday, 14 May, this free concert will see a performance from each choir, before the choirs unite for the performance of a major choral work.

Dr Chris Price, Director of Music for Canterbury Christ Church’s School of Creative Arts and Industries, said: “It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be conducting such a splendid event, bringing together so many fellow musicians in concert. It should be as exciting for the audience as for the singers. We’ll be using the various spaces of the Nave to the full. It should be one of those concerts that students will remember for the rest of their lives; a real landmark in their musical journeys.”

This year's theme is Enlightenment. Each of the participating choirs brings a piece of music to the event, resulting in an eclectic and exuberant festival of music in varied styles and sound-worlds. But they combine their forces in a performance of a larger work, and for this Canterbury event they will perform four movements from Monteverdi's spectacular Vespers of 1610. The final movement is the Magnificat: an astonishing display of compositional virtuosity, treating a simple plainsong melody with brilliantly colourful handling of voices and instruments, making full use of the wonderful spaces and acoustics of the Cathedral Nave.

The concert takes place on Saturday 14 May, 7.30pm to 10pm at Canterbury Cathedral. Book your free tickets here.