Lancaster Priory Festival of Song

Celebrating Women’s Voices


Wednesday 11th September 2019 – 2pm 

Vocal Masterclass with Katy Thomson and Ingrid Sawers

Three of the Priory’s junior choral scholars will work with Katy and Ingrid on interpretation and developing their sound, then give a short informal concert in the rush-hour recital slot at 5.15pm. A fascinating insight into the intricacies of helping young singers to develop their own artistry. Click here for more information.


Wednesday 11th September – 7.30pm

Making a Musical Matriarchy – a panel discussion

MMMThis panel discussion will bring together a vibrant group of charismatic and powerful women to explore the issues facing today’s classical music world and what we can do to over-come those challenges. We will investigate gender issues surrounding church music and education; we will raise awareness of female composers massively under-represented in today’s repertoire; we will shine a light on the diversity issues facing arts organisations and disentangle some of the myths surrounding the topic of ‘women in music’, all with a good dose of common sense. The discussion will be followed by a candlelit vocal recital from Eleanor Penfold, and the interval gin bar is being provided by The Butcher and Tonic.

The Revd Dr Rebecca Aechtner – Chair

Fay Jennett (Producer & Diversity Ambassador)

Dr. Katy Cooper (Musicologist, Conductor and Director of Music, Glasgow University Chapel). @K8yCoo

Edwina Wolstencroft (Editor, BBC Radio 3) @loveradio3

Katy Thomson (Soprano, Royal College of Music) @scottish_katy

Tickets £6 (Adults), £4 (U18s) | Unreserved seating. Book tickets here.

Thursday 12th September 2019 – 8.00pm 

Femmes Fatales

Katy Thomson and Ingrid Sawers in recital

Femmes FatalesInspired by Katy’s research for the Women in Music initiative at the Royal College of Music, this programme features strong female protagonists (in the poetry as well as on stage!), providing a platform for composers whose life and works are often overlooked. Ingrid and Katy present a recital packed with hidden gems, including works by both Lili and Nadia Boulanger, Rebecca Clarke, Clara Schumann, and many more. Femmes Fatales:a recital of fireworks, femininity and force. Not to be missed!

Tickets £6 (Adults), £4 (U18s) | Unreserved seating. Book tickets here.


Saturday 14th September 2019 – 7.30pm 

Festival Voices – Magnificat

In this festival finale, they celebrate the Song of Mary, the Magnificat. The first half of the programme comprises settings from English composers such as Gibbons, Purcell, Noble, and Howells, which will be familiar to members of our regular evensong congregation here at the Priory. In the second half, Oliver Tarney’s acclaimed extended Magnificat for choir, orchestra and soloists will be performed.

Katy Thomson (Soprano) | Sarah Jillian Cox (Mezzo-Soprano)
Christopher Steele (Tenor) | Charlie Murray (Baritone)
Lancaster Priory Choirs and Festival Orchestra | Don Gillthorpe (Director of Music)

Click here to book tickets


Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra 

Soprano soloist – China Tour

26th December 2019 – 8th January 2020

Saturday 28th March 2020

Soprano soloist – Cadogan Hall – 7.30pm

Soprano soloist with the Thames Philharmonic Choir, conducted by Harry Bradford.

Beethoven – Mass in C

Mozart – Solemn Vespers KV339

Other recent events


Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019

St. Andrew’s and St. George’s West – Monday 12th August 12.30pm

Songs of Innocence and Experience 

Renowned for their sparkling performances, Edinburgh-born soprano Katy Thomson and Chicago-born baritone Samuel James Dewese established their dynamic duo studying at the Royal College of Music. Alongside acclaimed pianist Ingrid Sawers, these creative performers explore themes of innocence and experience: including songs by Hahn, Roussel, Satie, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Vaughan-Williams, Cole Porter and many more.

UPDATE: Due to a family bereavement, Ingrid Sawers is not able to do this recital. Christopher Baxter will now be accompanying Katy and Sam.

Tickets: £10 on the door

RCM Museum Roadshow

18th August – The Red House, home of Benjamin Britten, Aldburgh.

30th August –  Leith Hill Place, childhood home of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Surrey. 

As part of the RCM Museum Roadshow, Katy Thomson and pianist John Cuthbert will be providing live music to accompany the talks, pop-up exhibitions and events taking place. Come along to see some of the portrait painting gems stored in the RCM Museum and learn more about distinguished RCM alumni. Click on the links above for more information.